Nine people injured in corrosive substance attack in south London

Nine people injured in corrosive substance attack in south London thumbnail

Nine people have been injured after a suspected corrosive substance was thrown at a woman and two young children in south London.

The Metropolitan police were called to Lessar Avenue, Clapham at about 7.25pm on Wednesday, when the woman and two children were injured by a suspected corrosive substance.

A further six people – three members of the public and three police officers – were injured after coming to their aid. Five of those involved were taken to hospital.

Det Supt Alexander Castle said the officers’ injuries were minor, adding: “While tests are ongoing to determine what the substance is, at this stage we believe it to be a corrosive substance.

“A man was seen fleeing the scene. We are drawing on resources from across the Met to apprehend this individual and work is ongoing to determine what has led to this awful incident.”

No arrest has been made and police said they would give an update on the conditions of those injured as soon as possible.

A local politician said the woman and children were in a car when they were assaulted.

Marina Ahmad, Labour’s London Assembly member for Lambeth and Southwark, posted on X: “There has been a traffic collision with a man assaulting occupants in a car and throwing acid. Victims include children.”

Firefighters used specialist equipment to detect what is believed to be the corrosive substance used in the initial attack, a London fire brigade spokesperson said.

They added: “Firefighters were called to a chemical incident on Lessar Avenue in Clapham this evening.

“Working alongside emergency service partners, crews provided immediate emergency care to a woman and two children.

“Five further people were also treated at the scene. They were all taken to hospital by London ambulance service crews. Crews also used specialist equipment to detect a corrosive substance that is believed to have been used in the incident.

“The brigade was called at 7.35pm and the incident was over for firefighters by 9.21pm. Two fire engines from Clapham and Battersea fire stations attended the scene.”

A London ambulance service spokesperson said: “We were called today (31 January) at 7.29pm to reports of an incident on Clapham Common South Side, SW4.

“We sent a number of resources to the scene, including two incident response officers, three ambulance crews and members of our hazardous area response team.

“We treated nine people, five of whom were taken to a major trauma centre. Three patients were taken to a local hospital and the other was discharged at the scene.”