A report of gunfire led to the panicked evacuation of one of London’s most crowded subway stations on Friday afternoon, but the scare proved to be short-lived, a testament perhaps to nerves frayed by a year in which London has been targeted by several terrorist attacks.
The station was reopened within 90 minutes, as the police reported that they had “not located any trace of suspects, evidence of shots fired or casualties.”
Earlier, witnesses at Oxford Circus, thronged with shoppers on “Black Friday,” one of the busiest shopping days of the year, described a scene of panic, with people running from the station, some in tears. Shopping bags littered the sidewalk, and one woman was seen running down the street wearing just one shoe.
Mattias Nilsson, 45, said he was in town with friends for a Premier League soccer match and was near the station when he heard people shouting, “Shooting! Terrorists!”
“We just ran. Everyone started running,” he said. “This is making me nervous.”
— Julian Druker (@Julian5News) November 24, 2017