Stratford acid 'attack': Police arrest 15-year-old boy after six injured near Westfield cent
A 15-year-old boy has been arrested after six people were injured on Saturday night in what police suspect was a mass acid attack in Stratford, east London.
It came after a "noxious substance" was thrown in several areas – including by the Westfield shopping centre and Olympic Park – during a stand-off between two groups of males, police said.
Witnesses described how innocent victims caught in the crossfire screamed in pain after being hit with fluid, with one shouting: "‘I can’t see, I can’t see."
They said the attacks came after a brawl erupted inside the Stratford Centre between the youths and the trouble then spilled outside.
Police and emergency services rushed to the scene amid the panic in the aftermath of the fight that broke out shortly before 8pm.
Hundreds of shoppers were in the area amid the stand-off, who moved back and forth between the Stratford Centre and the larger Westfield Centre opposite.
Commuters were also streaming in and out of Stratford station when the dangerous liquid was thrown into crowds.
Six males were injured in the attack, with three hospitalised, emergency services said.
Police said the group of males fled after the attack.
Officers later arrested a 15-year-old male on suspicion of grievous bodily harm. He was taken to an east London police station where he is currently being questioned.
Witnesses told of the horror after the attack. A man who gave his name as Hossen, 28, a Burger King assistant manager, said he saw a victim and his friend, a known local homeless man, run into the fast food outlet’s toilets “to wash acid off his face”.
He said: “There were cuts around his eyes and he was trying to chuck water into them.”
Another witness, Zak Abdi, who shared footage from Stratford train station, told the Mirror Online he saw a substance thrown at a group of men “who looked like they were on their way to a club”.
“It didn’t hit just one person, it hit a crowd of people. One guy had been hit in the face, he kept shouting ‘I can’t see, I can’t see, I can’t see’.
“I think he has lost his vision. He kept shouting, it was a scary moment for everyone.”
Nate Higgins, 20, told The Independent he left Westfield shopping centre at about 8.30pm.
“I was in Westfield and I came out and saw all the police and ambulances.
“People weren’t panicking. It seemed like it was settled. But as I was leaving more and more ambulances and fire engines were showing up.
“There were more fire engines than I’ve ever seen in one place.”
Inside the Burger King toilets, water could reportedly be seen all over the floor, along with toilet tissue and medical gloves.
Some victims received treatment in Stratford station, which is directly opposite the shopping centre and close to the Olympic Park.
The incident is not being treated as terror-related, Scotland Yard said in a statement.
Paramedics and firefighters were also called, and a wide cordon was put in place.
Paul Gibson, LAS assistant director of operations, said: “We treated six patients in total and took three to London hospitals.”
( Source )