A NUMBER of pedestrians have been injured after a car crashed "at speed" outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster this morning.
The incident occurred at 7.37am when a vehicle collided with cyclists before crashing into barriers at the Palace of Westminster in the heart of central London.
Scotland Yard's Counter-Terrorism Command is leading the investigation into the incident, the Metropolitan Police confirmed.
While we are keeping an open mind, the Met's Counter-Terrorism Command is leading the investigation into the #Westminster incident.
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) August 14, 2018
At least two people were hurt but neither are understood to have suffered life-threatening injuries, according to the London Ambulance Service (LAS).
A man was pulled from a smoking silver hatchback by around a dozen armed officers who had their rifles trained on him, eyewitnesses said.
In a statement, the Met said: "While we are keeping an open mind, the Met's Counter-Terrorism Command is leading the investigation into the #Westminster incident."
Sky News reports police have "sanitised" the surrounding area, ensuring it is safe for investigation.
The area around Parliament has been sealed off by police, with both Westminster tube station and Westminster Bridge also closed.
Breaking: Big armed police response to car which has cashed into Parliament barriers we are now being moved back pic.twitter.com/rYAqExq6rn
— Vincent McAviney (@VinnyMcAv) August 14, 2018
All entrances to the Houses of Parliament were also in lockdown in the wake of the incident.
In an earlier statement, Scotland yard said: "At 0737hrs today, a car was in collision with barriers outside the Houses of Parliament.
"The male driver of the car was detained by officers at the scene.
“A number of pedestrians have been injured. Officers remain at the scene".
Silver hatchback car has hit barriers outside Parliament and hit several cyclists. One woman being treated on the ground. Eye witness says she’s awake and speaking. pic.twitter.com/GWlXc2OfmN
— Kate Proctor (@KateProctorES) August 14, 2018
The statement added: "At this stage, officers do not believe that anybody is in a life-threatening condition.
“Cordons are in place to assist the investigation."
Armed police outside parliament - “move back as quick as you can, we’re asking you for a reason.” pic.twitter.com/twww2nNhm3
— Jonathan Blake (@blakeyblogs) August 14, 2018
It has not yet been confirmed whether the crash was terror-related, but the incident has evoked memories of an attack in March 2017 which saw Khalid Masood, 52, hit pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before stabbing a police officer to death just inside the gates of Parliament.
Five people were killed and 50 injured before Masood was shot dead, with barriers around the Palace of Westminster extended in the wake of the attack.
In June 2017, eight people were killed and 48 injured when three terrorists drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before exiting the van and stabbing dozens of people in nearby bars at Borough Market.