Police now know the identity of the passenger in a taxi involved in an explosion outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital – and believe he made the ‘improvised device’ involved. The man died after a device was set off in a car just outside the entrance to the hospital at around 10.59 on Remembrance Sunday (November 14). His name has not yet been released. David Perry, the driver of the taxi, was able to escape and has now been released from hospital. He has been praised as a hero for ‘diverting what could have been an awful disaster’.
One person has been confirmed dead and another person has been injured following a car explosion at Liverpool Women’s Hospital. Counter Terrorism Police are now leading the investigation supported by Merseyside Police, however it has not been declared a ter•or incident at this stage.
Assistant Chief Constable and Head of Counter Terror North West Unit, Russ Jackson, said it is believed that the passenger made the device which was set off in the car. He said police’s assumption was that the improvised explosive device “was built by the passenger in the taxi”. The motive is ‘yet to be understood’ but a fourth man has been arrested under the Terror Act after three were arrested on Sunday. Officers investigating the explosion ‘cannot at this time draw any connection’ with Remembrance Sunday events near the Women’s Hospital but confirmed ‘it is a line of inquiry’, it was confirmed. Chief Constable Serena Kennedy spoke at a press conference at Merseyside Police headquarters this morning, alongside ACC Russ Jackson. The investigation into the explosion at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital, led by Counter Terrorism Policing is continuing at pace. “The circumstances, as we understand them to be, are that yesterday shortly before 11am, a local taxi driver picked up a fare in the Rutland Avenue area of Liverpool.
“The fare, a man, had asked to be taken to the Liverpool Women’s Hospital which was about 10 minutes away. As the taxi approached the drop off point at the hospital, an explosion occurred from within car, which quickly engulfed it in flames. “Remarkably, the taxi driver, escaped from the cab. He has been treated for the injuries he sustained and has now been released from hospital. “Emergency services quickly attended the scene and Merseyside Fire and Rescue put out the fire following which it quickly became apparent that the passenger remained in the vehicle and was deceased. “Army Ordinance Disposal officers have examined the scene at the Hospital and made the area safe.
In a statement, Home Secretary Ms Patel said: ‘I am being kept regularly updated on the awful incident at Liverpool Women’s Hospital.
‘Our police and emergency services are working hard to establish what happened and it is right they are given the time and space to do so.’
Mayor Anderson said: ‘This morning’s tragic incident at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital has understandably caused a great deal of concern.
‘Given the police investigation is ongoing, we need to refrain from speculation so that the facts can be established.
Carl Bessant, whose partner had just had a baby at the hospital, said: ‘She was feeding the baby when it happened. We heard a loud bang and looked out of the window.
‘We saw the car on fire and someone jumped out… screaming, and there was someone inside the car. The hospital shut down, no-one in or out, so they said, but people were using the back entrance.’
Locals said police arrived from about 1pm as officers went on to guard a terraced property as the immediate surrounding area was cordoned off. Around 11:30pm, witnesses said roads were being evacuated, with taxis and at least two minibuses arriving at the scene to take residents to alternative accommodation.
Shortly before 10pm Ryan O’Neill tweeted that armed police ‘pointing guns at the house’ gave him five minutes to pack and leave Boaler Street with his partner and children.
Counter-terror negotiators were also called to the scene and facilities for residents were being set up in a nearby leisure centre.
Police early Monday said: ‘A large cordon is in place on Rutland Avenue in Liverpool and a small number of addresses have been evacuated as a precaution.
‘This is part of our ongoing enquiries into the car explosion outside the city’s Women’s hospital on Sunday morning.’
No description was available for the taxi passenger, who was declared dead at the scene.
Footage filmed from the hospital showed the car burning fiercely as voices can be heard gasping in shock. A shocked man is seen holding his head in his hands before being led away by hospital staff.