Gunfire, stabbings and a van driver veering “into the crowds of people” on London Bridge have been described by witnesses.
There were also reports of acts of heroism, as Londoners were faced with two terror incidents on Saturday night.
A taxi driver, who picked up two people fleeing the Black & Blue restaurant in nearby Borough Market, told Sky News how they believed their actions had saved many people’s lives.
“She managed to hold the door for a few seconds, but then I think they were overpowered. They managed to escape from a rear door, possibly saving a good 20 people’s lives, as they mentioned whilst I took them home.”
The cabbie said he took the pair to Streatham, south London, adding: “They were in shock. You can just judge by their face. She was almost in tears as well, both of them. They were very shaky as well.”
James, 24, told Sky News he saw two armed police crouching behind a black BMW X5 telling pedestrians to “get back” before firing shots.
He said: “Brrr, brrr, brrr, three shots.”
He also reported seeing a crushed van outside Brindisa tapas restaurant on the corner of Southwark Street and Borough High Street, adding: “We’ve just been dashed back by the police.”
Tony Murphy, who is ex-military and lives near the area, was a second witness to tell Sky News of gunfire.
He said: “I thought at first it was fireworks then I recognised it was significant gunfire and that was the first instance.
“There was rapid fire because that’s why I thought it was fireworks.”
Lara Al-Ostta told Sky News she saw three bodies on the floor, with one covered in blood.
She said: “We were at the pub, came out and we ordered an Uber. That got cancelled but we saw people running saying ‘run, you need to run, people are getting stabbed’.
“So we jumped in the nearest car – someone offered us a ride – and literally we were just going around the block.
“We saw a body on the floor, lots of people around it.
“We came up to London Bridge and then we saw two pedestrians on the bridge and police telling us to run.”
Nick Archer, who was in the London Bridge area, told Sky News he saw a man lying on the floor “in a bad way” as police attended the scene.
He said: “We came out (of a bar) on to the road and looked and looked to my left and there as a guy, I thought he was just drinking but he was lying on the floor.
“And then a couple of seconds later, about three police vans flew past.
“He looked in a bad way.”
Will Heaven, the managing editor of the Spectator magazine, was at the scene and was one of the first to post reports of the incident on Twitter.
He told Sky News: “It was about 10.15pm I was in the back of an Uber cab driving over London Bridge…there was somebody down on the pavement with a small crowd around them clearly very concerned.
“It looked like someone had collapsed. We drove a bit further and noticed there was another person on the right hand side of the bridge who was also not on the pavement but in the road itself.
“The penny dropped something quite serious was happening.
“Suddenly the traffic came to standstill. The driver said something bad is happening here.
“We could hear sirens coming and the suddenly ahead of us we noticed another casualty in the road.”
Mr Heaven added that “it did not look like an accident”, adding it was clear police “thought they were responding to something far more serious than a road traffic accident”.
Holly Jones, a BBC reporter at London Bridge when the incident happened, said “a white van driver” travelling at an estimated 50mph had “veered off the road into the crowds of people” who were walking along the pavement.
She added: “He swerved right round me and then hit about five or six people. He hit about two people in front of me and then three behind.
“I’d say there are about four severely injured people. They all have paramedics assisting them at the moment.”
Will Orton, 25, said “lots of people” came running inside the pub he was in close to Borough Market.
He told the Press Association: “We thought maybe there was a fight or something outside. And then there were almost hundreds of people coming inside.
“The bouncers did a really good job, they shut the doors and locked everyone in. There was panic – it seemed like it was literally outside the door.
“People were coming inside and saying they had witnessed people being stabbed. They had seen and witnessed people being stabbed.
“It seemed like it was happening immediately outside the entrance.”