Liverpool Women’s Hospital explosion: Taxi driver’s ‘heroic efforts’ praised

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  • Liverpool hospital blast

Image source, HandoutImage caption, David Perry has been discharged from hospital

A Liverpool taxi driver's "heroic efforts" averted what could have been an "awful disaster" on Remembrance Sunday, the city's mayor has said.

His cab pulled up outside Liverpool Women's Hospital and exploded just before 11:00 GMT, as the national two minutes' silence was due to begin.

Joanne Anderson praised the cabbie, named locally as David Perry, for "locking the doors" before the blast.

The taxi passenger died at the scene and Mr Perry was taken to hospital.

The explosion has been declared as a terrorist incident.

Mr Perry did not suffer life-threatening injuries and has since been discharged from hospital, police said.

"The taxi driver in his heroic efforts has managed to divert what could have been an absolutely awful disaster," said Ms Anderson.

"The taxi driver locked the doors – our thanks go to him."

  • Follow live updates on the Liverpool hospital explosion

An online fundraiser started by people involved in the taxi trade in the city has already raised nearly £15,000.

Organiser Jenny Phillips said the appeal was "simply to help a family and a good guy who didn't deserve this, and has a lot of recovery to do but deserves a medal for his actions".

She told the Liverpool Echo: "We waited until we knew more details of what had happened and we were shocked.

"His family have since been in touch and said there are a number of other fundraisers that have been set up but are not official and the family are concerned people will be giving money to people they do not know."

This video can not be played

To play this video you need to enable JavaScript in your browser.Media caption, Watch: The cab pulled up outside Liverpool Women's Hospital and exploded into flames

Mr Perry is said by police to have picked up a man in the Rutland Avenue area of Liverpool and was asked to be taken to the Women's Hospital, about 10 minutes away.

As the taxi arrived at the hospital's drop-off area, it exploded and Mr Perry escaped the car seconds later before it was engulfed in flames, police said.

Russ Jackson, head of Counter Terrorism Policing North West, said he had spoken to Mr Perry who was still "shaken and injured" but had yet to receive his full account of what happened.

Mr Jackson said he could not confirm reports he had locked the doors of the taxi before the explosion.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also praised Mr Perry's actions.

"It does look as though the taxi driver in question did behave with incredible presence of mind and bravery," he said.

The dead passenger has not yet been formally identified.

Image source, PA MediaImage caption, Police, fire and bomb disposal crews were at the scene of the blast, which remains cordoned off

Four men have been arrested under the Terrorism Act, while MI5 is assisting regional counter-terrorism police.

A police cordon remains in place around Liverpool Women's Hospital, although it remains open for patients.

Visiting arrangements have been restricted until further notice, the hospital said.

Image source, PA MediaImage caption, Raids were carried out by armed police near Sefton Park, and also in the Kensington area of LiverpoolImage source, ReutersImage caption, Police officers are keeping guard near the blast scene

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