Horses spooked by 'big bang' when builders' concrete clattered to the ground sparking rampage that left five injured

24 April 2024, 15:01

Five people have been injured as well as some of the horses
Five people have been injured as well as some of the horses. Picture: Alamy/LBC

By Flaminia Luck

Military horses caused "total mayhem" in central London after they were apparently spooked by builders moving rubble.

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A group of seven horses and six soldiers from the Household Cavalry were on an extended exercise in Belgravia on Wednesday when chaos erupted.

Four service personnel were thrown from their horses and five of the animals got loose, smashing into vehicles and causing a number of injuries in a six-mile rampage.

It is believed the animals were spooked when some concrete being moved by builders hit the ground.

Two horses on the loose bolt through the streets of London near Aldwych. Picture date: Wednesday April 24, 2024.
Two horses on the loose bolt through the streets of London near Aldwych. Picture date: Wednesday April 24, 2024. Picture: Alamy

Ambulance crews treated four people in three separate incidents in Buckingham Palace Road, Belgrave Square, and at the junction of Chancery Lane and Fleet Street, in the space of just 10 minutes.

It is understood that three soldiers were assessed in hospital for their injuries, which were not thought to be serious.

The drama began near Buckingham Palace Road where witnesses saw a serviceman thrown from his horse, and one of the loose animals crashed into a taxi waiting outside the Clermont Hotel, shattering the windows.

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The horses were spotted across London
The horses were spotted at various locations across London. Picture: Google

LBC spoke to the driver, Faraz, who said a white horse had collided with his Mercedes people carrier, leaving blood spattered down the side.

Another of the animals crashed into a tour bus, smashing the windscreen.

Two horses were then seen running in the road near Aldwych, one of which appeared to be covered in blood.

Read more: Terrified taxi driver describes moment bloody Household Cavalry horse smashed into his Mercedes van

A black horse collides with a London Taxi after bolting down the A4 near Aldwych, central London. Picture date: Wednesday April 24, 2024.
A black horse collides with a London Taxi after bolting down the A4 near Aldwych, central London. Picture date: Wednesday April 24, 2024. Picture: Alamy

'Just fell silent'

Jordan Pettitt, 26, who works for the PA news agency, said a white horse was "vividly" stained red with blood and he heard a black horse collide with a taxi.

He said: "The A4 at the Aldwych is usually pretty busy and it suddenly just fell silent.

"There was no traffic on the roads and all of a sudden we could hear some clattering of hooves just at the top of the road. Then coming down the top of the road were these two horses.

"They were coming down at quite a speed. They bolted southbound down the A4.

"Then as they came past me at some speed, they went straight down to the bottom of the road where it meets Fleet Street.

"The traffic lights were at red with a few buses and some taxis waiting there. These horses came hurtling down past the pedestrian crossing at that moment. Then the black horse collided with a black taxi.

"It was not to a great degree of power but it hit it strongly enough that we could hear it at the top of the road. You could hear the contact. Then it veered behind the taxi, went past the bus and headed eastbound on Fleet Street.

"The white horse that was with it looked like it doubled back on itself and then followed the black one as it went eastbound." The animals were later seen near the Limehouse Tunnel, before they were recaptured by City of London Police and taken away to be assessed by Army vets."

Read more: Former Labour minister and crossbench peer Frank Field dies aged 81

Two horses on the loose bolt through the streets of London near Aldwych. Picture date: Wednesday April 24, 2024.
Two horses on the loose bolt through the streets of London near Aldwych. Picture date: Wednesday April 24, 2024. Picture: Alamy

Roland, a worker for tour bus company Tootbus, described the chaotic scenes near Victoria.

"I saw horses come from the bus station in front of Victoria run around in a frenzy," he said.

"People were running around to avoid them - it was total mayhem."

A second tour bus worker, named only as Mr Mahmood, said: "One of the horses bumped into a bus, then everything got out of control.

"I saw two horses without riders gallop away. One rider managed to calm his horse down.

"An ambulance went to assist another rider who had been injured."

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An Army spokesman said: "A number of military working horses became loose during routine exercise this morning.

"All of the horses have now been recovered and returned to camp.

"A number of personnel and horses have been injured and are receiving the appropriate medical attention."

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