James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Fourth man arrested as police declare Poppy Day blast a terrorist incident
15 November 2021, 11:20 | Updated: 15 November 2021, 12:35
A fourth man has been arrested in connection with the Remembrance Sunday explosion at a Liverpool hospital, which has now been declared a terrorist incident.
Greater Manchester Police confirmed a 20-year-old man was arrested under the Terrorism Act, taking the total number of arrests to four.
Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson added: "Although, the motivation for this incident is yet to be understood, given all the circumstances, it has been declared a terrorist incident and Counter Terrorism Policing are continuing with the investigation."
He also said they could not "at this time draw any connection" between the incident and the nearby remembrance events, but said it was "a line of inquiry we are pursuing".
ACC Jackson said the investigation was "continuing at pace" and confirmed that shortly before 11am a local taxi driver picked up a passenger in the Rutland Avenue area of Liverpool, who asked to be taken to Liverpool Women's Hospital.
The explosion occurred as the taxi pulled up outside, ACC Jackson confirmed, adding: "Remarkably, the taxi driver escaped from the cab.
"He has been treated for the injuries he sustained and has now been released from hospital."
Emergency services attended, including Army Ordinance Disposal officers.
"We are able to confirm that this is being treated as ignition of an explosive device," said ACC Jackson, adding police inquiries "indicate the device was brought into the cab by the passenger".
"We believe we know the identity of the passenger but cannot confirm this at this time," said the Assistant Chief Constable.
He went on to say their investigation led police to two addresses.
"The first was Sutcliffe Street in the Kensington area of Liverpool and at this location three men aged 21, 26 and 29 were arrested yesterday under S41 of the Terrorism Act," he said.
"A short while ago, again in the Kensington area, a further man aged 20 was arrested under S41 of the Terrorism Act."
He said the address had been searched along with an address at Rutland Avenue, with a number of "significant items" found at the latter property.
ACC Jackson confirmed eight families had been evacuated nearby, where a cordon remains in place.
He added the scene at the hospital also remained in place.
Merseyside Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said there would be increased police presence across the area as a result.
"There is no specific threat to the area, but I have asked for patrols to be increased right across Merseyside," she said, urging people to "remain calm, but also be vigilant and alert".
She also stressed that the public should rely only on official information.
"Anyone who has any information should call on 0161 856 1027 quoting Liverpool Womens Hospital incident," said ACC Jackson.
"Details can be passed to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."