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'I thought a bomb was about to go off': Norfolk men caught up in London Bridge attack

PUBLISHED: 16:37 29 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:30 29 November 2019

Police on Gracechurch Street in London near the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

Police on Gracechurch Street in London near the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

A sports journalist from Norfolk was among a terrified group locked into a pub in the wake of Friday's London Bridge attack.

Mustard TV presenter Jake Watson.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYMustard TV presenter Jake Watson. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

A number of people were stabbed and one person was shot and killed in the incident near London Bridge, which started just before 2pm.

The Metropolitan Police is treating the stabbings as a terrorist incident.

Jake Watson, a presenter and producer at Talk Sport, was in a pub on the corner of London Bridge when he saw people running past the building.

"[We] went outside to see what was happening," he said. "Police then screamed at us to get inside."

Mr Watson, a former presenter at Norwich-based Mustard TV, said he and other customers were locked inside the pub for around 10 minutes - before police came back to the building and "told us to get out of the pub and run".

Chaos ensued as people flooded for the front doors, through which Mr Watson and his group escaped.

"Loads of us were running towards the Shard. I tried to get in my office but it was on lock-down as well," he said.

"Police were running behind us telling us to keep going. [I] honestly thought a bomb was about to go off or a gunman was behind."

Norwich resident Dan Castleton had been working in Southwark on the south side of the River Thames and was making his way back to Liverpool Street station across London Bridge when he heard gun shots ring out.

"There was lots of queuing traffic on the bridge and a helicopter in the air and a couple of police vans were trying to get through the traffic on the bridge so I assumed an RTA [road traffic accident] or the like," he said. 
"But then people suddenly started coming back hurrying saying there is an incident, you mustn't go any further."

It was as he turned around and started walking again that Mr Castleton said he heard the shots.

"It was probably about two or three to start with, then another 10 or so over about 30 to 60 seconds. There were also a couple of louder bangs during that time."

He added: "Everyone was calm and everyone knew that what was happening was an emergency and that shots had been fired. It was very well organised."

In a press conference on Friday afternoon Met Police assistant commissioner Neil Basu said a device was strapped to the suspect's body, but police believed it to be a hoax explosive.

He said the suspect was shot by specialist armed officers from the City of London Police and died at the scene.

Buildings belonging to News UK and King's College London were among those put into lock-down following the attack.

A tweet from the St George Colegate Twitter account offered prayers for those caught up in the incident, adding: "Lord, please be will all who are in danger, for those who are trying to help them and for families waiting for news."

Thomas Smith, Norfolk county councillor for Gaywood, also took to Twitter to express his support. He said: "God help the police and ordinary folk caught up in the situation at London Bridge."

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