Liverpool hospital taxi explosion: what we know so far

<span>Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA</span>
Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

A taxi exploded outside Liverpool Women’s hospital in England on Sunday morning, killing one and injuring another.

Here’s what we know so far:

  • In what is being treating as a terrorist incident, a taxi exploded in flames outside Liverpool Women’s hospital in the city centre, shortly before 11am on Sunday.

  • A male passenger inside the vehicle was killed in the blast and declared dead at the scene. Police believe they know the identity of the dead man, but have yet to release it.

  • The taxi driver managed to escape before the flames spread and has been released from hospital after being treated for injuries.

  • The taxi driver had picked up a passenger from Rutland Avenue in the Sefton Park area of Liverpool, about 10 minutes from the hospital.

  • A police search of an address in Rutland Avenue uncovered items described by police as “significant”.

  • Police inquiries indicate that a homemade improvised explosive device (IED) was brought into the cab by the passenger. The explosion was believed to be due to the ignition of the IED.

  • Following police raids on Sunday, three men – aged 29, 26 and 21 – were arrested at an address in Sutcliffe in the Kensington area of the city under the Terrorism Act, police said in a statement on Sunday night.

  • A fourth man, aged 20, was arrested on Monday at a separate address. All four men are being interviewed by counter-terrorism detectives.

  • In the hours after the blast, a heavy police presence was reported at three streets in the city – Sutcliffe and Boaler streets in Kensington, and Rutland Avenue in Sefton Park. Fire crews and police officers wearing vests marked “negotiator” were seen at Rutland avenue and cordons remain in place.

  • The motive for the apparent attack is unknown. Police assume the IED was built by the passenger who was killed in the blast.

  • The reason why he took it to the Women’s hospital is also unknown, as is the reason for its sudden explosion.

  • One possible motive is that the incident is linked to the Remembrance Day ceremony nearby. Liverpool’s assistant chief constable Russ Jackson, from counter-terrorism policing north-west, said: “We are of course aware that there were Remembrance events just a short distance away from the hospital and that the ignition occurred shortly before 11am. We cannot at this time draw any connection with this. But it is a line of inquiry which we are pursuing.”

  • The investigation is being led by counter-terrorism police who are being assisted by Merseyside police and MI5.

  • There is no specific threat to the area, but police patrols have been increased across Merseyside.