'My eyes, my eyes!': Mother's cry after she and two children targeted in Clapham acid attack that left 9 injured

31 January 2024, 22:12 | Updated: 1 February 2024, 14:20

The incident occurred on Lessar Avenue in Clapham
The incident occurred on Lessar Avenue in Clapham. Picture: LBC
  • Did you witness the incident? Email crime@lbc.co.uk

By Jenny Medlicott

A mother and her two young children were among nine people rushed to hospital after a ‘corrosive substance’ was thrown in south London.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The mother and her children were given "immediate emergency care" before being rushed to hospital after the 'horrific' incident on Lessar Avenue, near Clapham Common on Wednesday evening.

The woman was heard screaming: "My eyes! My eyes! Call the police" according to eyewitnesses.

Three bystanders rushed in to help the mum and her two children but were also injured in the attack and later required medical assistance, police said.

An urgent manhunt has been launched to find the attacker including a police helicopter which has been recruited after a man fled the scene following the attack.

No arrests have been made.

Five have been taken to a major trauma centre and three were taken to a local hospital, according to the London Ambulance Service. The ninth was discharged at the scene.

Three police officers were among those injured, although their injuries are believed to be minor, the force said.

An eyewitness to the incident, who asked to remain anonymous, said they saw a man in a white car with two children.

He had been fighting with the woman before he seemed to try and run her over with the car, the witness said.

"He grabbed one of the two children and violently grabbed them and slammed them on the floor.

"The lady then shouted 'My eyes! My eyes! Call the police, my eyes!' Then I saw him run off. It was all so traumatising," they told Sky News.

One of the people who got the substance on them from helping said: "I then ran into my house, grabbed a water bottle and threw water on [the mother's] eyes.

"Her lips were black. Her skin looked burned.

"I then chased the man halfway down the street. I was wearing my slippers so didn't get very far."

Detective Superintendent Alexander Castle said: “Officers are on scene following this horrific incident.

"Three victims - a woman and her two young children - have been taken to hospital for treatment.

"Three other people - all adults - have been taken to hospital for injuries sustained, we believe, as they came to their aid."

Read more: Man, 44, charged with murders of two teenagers in Bristol over the weekend

Read more: Chilling moment builder carries on working moments after bludgeoning customer to death following her complaints

"Three police officers have also been taken to hospital after they responded to the incident. Thankfully we believe their injuries to be minor.

"While tests are ongoing to determine what the substance is, at this stage we believe it to be a corrosive substance.

"A man was seen fleeing the scene. We are drawing on resources from across the Met to apprehend this individual and work is ongoing to determine what has led to this awful incident.”

A spokesman for London Fire Brigade said: 'Firefighters were called to a chemical incident on Lessar Avenue in Clapham this evening.

"Working alongside emergency service partners, crews provided immediate emergency care to a woman and two children. 

"Five further people were also treated at the scene. They were all taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service crews. 

"Crews also used specialist equipment to detect a corrosive substance that is believed to have been used in the incident."

London Assembly member Marina Ahmad wrote on X: “There has been a traffic collision with a man assaulting occupants in a car and throwing acid. Victims include children”.

Councillors Alison Inglis-Jones and Ben Curtis for the local area said the wider community had been left in 'disbelief' over the 'shocking incident'.

A joint statement from the Clapham Common and Abbeville councillors said: “We are appalled by the shocking incident that has taken place in our ward of Clapham Common & Abbeville and send our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to all those who have been affected.

“The two of us, and the wider community, are in total disbelief and shock at what has happened on Lessar Avenue this evening.

“We would like to thank the hard work of the Metropolitan Police, London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade for their quick response, rapid cordoning off of the scene and communication with residents.”

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Wendy Williams thanks supporters for 'love and kind words' after she is diagnosed with same rare form of dementia as Bruce Willis

Wendy Williams thanks supporters for 'love and kind words' after she is diagnosed with same rare form of dementia as Bruce Willis

Competitors battle in a muddy pool at the Florida Man Games

Tank-topped teams compete in spoof sporting event in Florida

Residents voting in the South Carolina Republican primary

Trump enters South Carolina primary looking to embarrass Haley in her home state

Children are seen in a building destroyed in an Israeli air strike in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, February 22

'Progress' made in Gaza ceasefire talks after Hamas 'drop some of its demands' that could see Israeli hostages released

Destroyed residential buildings in Rafah

Israeli officials to meet delegation after talks on proposed pause in Gaza war

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

Brazilian president accuses Israel of committing genocide in Gaza

A picture of Alexei Navalny next to flowers in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin

Body of Russian opposition leader Navalny handed over to his mother, aide says

Alexei Navalny's body handed to mother after 'three-hour ultimatum' over late Russian opposition figure's burial

Alexei Navalny's body handed to mother after 'three-hour ultimatum' over late Russian opposition figure's burial

French President Emmanuel Macron at the agriculture fair

Macron booed by French farmers as he visits Paris agricultural fair

Volodymyr Zelensky

Western leaders arrive in Kyiv as Ukraine marks invasion anniversary

Lee Anderson has been suspended for his comments about Sadiq Khan

Lee Anderson suspended from Conservative Party after claiming 'Islamists have control of Sadiq Khan'

Wet weather is expected on Sunday and Monday

Fears of travel chaos on Sunday and Monday amid heavy rain, as yellow weather warning issued

Jesse Baird and Luke Davies have not been seen since Monday

Police in desperate riverbed hunt for missing TV presenter and boyfriend, as cop ex-lover accused of murder

Yulia Navalnaya

Navalny widow accuses Putin of mocking Christianity for refusing to return body

Charles has shared a message of support for Ukraine

King Charles hails 'heroism' of Ukrainians as world leaders mark second anniversary of Russian invasion in Kyiv

Junior doctors have gone on strike again

Junior doctors walk out for five-day strike amid long-standing pay row, in latest round of NHS industrial action