Witnesses say the driver, a 42-year-old Muslim woman (photo below), had gotten into her car after Eid prayers when she ‘hit the gas not the break’ and sped into adults and children. Two children are in intensive care. Six people, including three children have been taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary. According to police, terrorism is not suspected at this time.
SKY News A 42-year-old woman has been arrested following the incident outside the Westgate Sports Centre at about 9.14am. Police say the incident is not believed to be terror-related and they are still trying to establish exactly what happened.
Northumbria Police Assistant Chief Constable Darren Best said: “As it currently stands, two of the children are now in Paediatric Intensive Care and one adult is in the Trauma High Dependency Unit. “The remaining injuries are believed to have serious but not life-threatening injuries.”
Explaining more about the incident, ACC Best said: “At that time a large number of people were in the area celebrating the religious festival Eid that is held to mark the end of Ramadan. “What we have established is that a 42-year-old female has been celebrating Eid with her family, she then got into her car and crashed into six people in the crowd.
“We have no information to suggest this is terror-related, however, this is a serious collision with multiple casualties and extensive inquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances around this tragic incident.”
In a statement, the nearby Newcastle Central Mosque said the collision happened after people were leaving the mosque following Eid prayers. It said: “Immediately after the Eid prayers, when the people were starting to leave the venue, a car collided with pedestrians.
Extra officers are on patrol to reassure the public but police repeated that there is nothing to suggest the incident was terror-related.