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Gang goes on ACID attack spree injuring at least 8 people in London's Stratford tube station

A policeman stands guard outside the Stratford centre after the acid attack at 8pm on Saturday which injured at least eight

  • At least eight people injured tonight in a massive acid attack after a gang of men sprayed a noxious substance 
  • Police and paramedics rushed to the Stratford Shopping Centre in east London at 8pm to reports of attack 
  • Witnesses described panic in the moments after the assault as injured people hurried to wash their faces 
  • Paramedics treated eight people for injuries as one man repeatedly screamed 'I can't see' in Stratford station 
  • Did you see what happened? Email charlie.moore@mailonline.co.uk 

At least eight people have been injured tonight in a massive acid attack after a gang of men sprayed a noxious substance into crowds near a shopping centre causing widespread panic.

Police and paramedics rushed to the Stratford Shopping Centre in east London at 8pm after the gang sprayed crowds there and in the next door tube station.

Dramatic video and images shared on social media show police treating victims behind a cordon at Stratford station where a white substance can be seen on the floor.

Witnesses described the panic in the moments after the mass attack as injured people hurried to wash their faces and limbs with water.

One man who was splashed in the face could be heard screaming: 'I can't see, I can't see'.

Police have ruled out terrorism and arrested one man on suspicion of GBH. Witnesses claimed the substance was thrown by 'young black teenage males' after an argument broke out.  

At least eight people have been injured in a massive acid attack. Pictured: A police cordon in Stratford tube station with what appears to be acid on the floor

At least eight people have been injured in a massive acid attack. Pictured: A police cordon in Stratford tube station with what appears to be acid on the floor

Dramatic pictures from the scene shared on social media appeared to show police attending to at least one victim at the station
Dramatic pictures from the scene shared on social media appeared to show police attending to at least one victim at the station

Dramatic pictures from the scene shared on social media appeared to show police attending to victims at Stratford station

Officers have arrested a man after a gang sprayed acid into a crowd near Stratford Shopping Centre. Pictured: Police cars at the scene

Officers have arrested a man after a gang sprayed acid into a crowd near Stratford Shopping Centre. Pictured: Police cars at the scene

Emergency services at Stratford Centre in east London after the attack at 8pm tonight. Cordons were set up around the areas where the acid was sprayed

Fire crews gathered outside the Stratford centre next to an area which had been cordoned off after the shocking attack

Fire crews gathered outside the Stratford centre next to an area which had been cordoned off after the shocking attack

A policeman stands guard outside the Stratford centre after the acid attack at 8pm on Saturday which injured at least eight

A policeman stands guard outside the Stratford centre after the acid attack at 8pm on Saturday which injured at least eight

A map showing where the attack happened at the Stratford Centre and Stratford tube station. There were no reports of injuries at the nearby Westfield shopping centre

A map showing where the attack happened at the Stratford Centre and Stratford tube station. There were no reports of injuries at the nearby Westfield shopping centre

A Burger King assistant manager who gave his name as Hossen, 28, said he saw a victim and his friend run into the restaurant bathroom 'to wash acid off his face'.

One guy had been hit in the face, he kept shouting I can't see, I can't see, I can't see

He said: 'There were cuts around his eyes and he was trying to chuck water into them.'

Inside the Burger King toilets water could be seen all over the floor along with toilet tissue and medical gloves.

Witness Zak Abdi, who had been shopping with friends, told Mirror Online: 'I was about to leave the station and a few guys were scattering, and there were guys on the floor in agony, with their friends all around them.'

ACID ATTACKS ARE ON THE RISE WITH TWO EVERY DAY 

The number of acid attacks taking place in Britain is soaring, with school children as young as 13 using corrosive substances as weapons.

Crime statistics show that there was more than 450 acid attacks in London alone last year, with the number of attacks in the capital more than doubling since 2014.

But experts say the real figure is much higher, with the true scale of the problem hidden because people are afraid to come forward.

It is believed criminal gang members are carrying acid in drinks bottles because they are less likely to get caught than if they carry a knife or gun.

Schoolchildren as young as 13 have also told how 'squirting' rivals with acid is easier than trying to stab or fight them.   

He said he saw a group of men running away from the police after the acid 'hit a group of men who looked like they were en route to a club'. 

He heard one man shouting 'I can't see, I can't see, I can't see' after being splashed in the face.

Mr Abdi added: 'Everyone was just jumping out of the way, trying to escape the whole thing. It was a scary moment for everyone.' 

Imrana begum, 18, was working in Primark in Westfield when the attack happened.

She told MailOnline: 'It is a huge shock, even though more of these attacks are happening.

'I was folding clothes and suddenly everyone was like be careful, be careful there's been a huge acid attack. Apparently people could hear screaming.'  

Paul Gibson, assistant director of operations at London Ambulance Service, said: 'We have sent a number of resources to the scene including paramedics in cars, ambulance crews, an incident response officer and our Hazardous Area Response Team.

'So far, we have treated at least five patients at the scene and taken three patients to hospital. We remain on scene.'    

The Metropolitan Police said: 'Police were called just before 8pm to the area around Stratford Shopping Centre to reports of a group of males spraying what is believed to be a noxious substance.

'London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade have attended.

'A number of people have been reported injured at different locations - believed to be six people. We await further details.

Police said: 'One male has been arrested on suspicion of GBH. Officers remain on scene'. Pictured: Police cars at the scene

Police said: 'One male has been arrested on suspicion of GBH. Officers remain on scene'. Pictured: Police cars at the scene

Witnesses described the panic in the moments after the mass attack. Pictured: Stratford centre in the wake of the assault

Witnesses described the panic in the moments after the mass attack. Pictured: Stratford centre in the wake of the assault

Paul Gibson, assistant director of operations at London Ambulance Service, said: 'We have sent a number of resources to the scene'

Paul Gibson, assistant director of operations at London Ambulance Service, said: 'We have sent a number of resources to the scene'

Police treat victims outside the shopping centre by a bus stop

Left: The Stratford shopping centre from above. Right: Police treat victims outside the shopping centre by a bus stop

In the wake of a spate of acid attacks in recent years, anyone caught carrying acid will now be charged with carrying an offensive weapon - the same charge used to convict people unlawfully carrying a knife or a gun. 

Thugs carrying acid face four years in jail while those who throw it could get life behind bars.

The Crown Prosecution Service this summer unveiled plans to charge offenders caught with dangerous materials with possession of an offensive weapon, which carries a four-year prison term.

A spokesman said they hoped it would act as a deterrent after the Government and CPS noticed a worrying trend in attacks.

He said: 'From our side there is certainly a trend of these attacks becoming more prevalent and hopefully by publishing this information it is a useful exercise in show how the Crown will be dealing with offenders.'  

This means judges and magistrates will be able to deliver tougher sentences when attackers end up in court. 

'One male has been arrested on suspicion of GBH. Officers remain on scene. A cordon is in place. Enquiries continue.'

There were no reports of injuries from the Westfield shopping centre which is 200 yards from the Stratford shopping centre. 

Nate Higgins, who saw the emergency services arriving at the scene, told MailOnline: 'There were a lot of police, a lot of fire engines and a lot of ambulances.

'As I was leaving there were still more and more coming down the road. I was in the shopping centre when it happened and as I was coming out I saw them all arriving.

'There were at least 10 different vehicles and it didn't seem to be a settled thing.'

Another witness Harry Green, 19, got off the tube in the moments after the incident. He told MailOnline he witnessed the 'chaotic aftermath'.

'There were police officers with dogs everywhere, the whole station was at a standstill,' she said.

It was worrying as it was obvious something had just happened. It was just chaos.'

'As we stepped off the tube there were dozens of people giving statements to officers looking distressed as though something had just happened.

'We didn't see anyone injured but there were lots of ambulances on the scene but it seems they were taken away pretty promptly.

'We witnessed the aftermath, the emergency services seemed to have responded very quickly. There was a lot of confusion around, a lot of people didn't know what had happened or why they were stuck in the station.'

By 11pm emergency services had left the scene but the shopping centre remained guarded as customary on a Saturday night.

A security guard told MailOnline the shopping centre doors - visibly stained by what is believed to be dangerous acid - would remain behind a cordon until police and fire service could return to take a sample. 

Another witness Harry Green, 19, got off the tube in the moments after the incident. He told MailOnline he witnessed the 'chaotic aftermath'.

Witnesses saw dozens of ambulances and police cars racing to Stratford tube station in the east of the capital

Witnesses saw dozens of ambulances and police cars racing to Stratford tube station in the east of the capital

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