Hainault station stabbing: Man wielding sword arrested after police and public attacked in east London

Police have arrested a man who crashed a van into a house before allegedly “lurking” outside people’s front doors armed with a sword in a horrifying attack which left five injured, including two police officers.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed emergency services are responding to a serious incident in Hainault, east London, after a man drove into a house and reportedly went on a rampage with a sword.

Five people were rushed to hospital after the incident broke out shortly before 7am, with two of those understood to be police officers.

A 36-year-old man was arrested at the scene and he is in custody, police said. The incident is not being treated as terror related.

Follow our live updates on this breaking incident here.

Shocking footage of the alleged attacker was posted on social media (@ell_pht/Twitter)
Shocking footage of the alleged attacker was posted on social media (@ell_pht/Twitter)

Shocking footage posted on social media following the incident shows a man wearing a yellow jumper and dark trousers, carrying what appears to be a samurai sword.

One terrified neighbour told The Independent: “The attacker was a nutjob targetting innocent people on their way to start their day.”

The eyewitness said he woke up to the sound of a “huge crash” and saw a van had ploughed into the side of the house opposite. He said another local went to check on the driver before he was attacked.

“The driver then got back in his car and reversed out the side of the house to drive up the back road opposite where it all started kicking off. People were running and screaming,” he continued.

“You can see he stabbed multiple people up this road. He was lurking outside people’s houses wielding a samurai sword.”

He added: “He then walked back down the road whilst people ran and screamed as he was waving his samurai sword threatening civilians and walked past my house.”

The man is said to have turned down an alleyway when he was cornered by police in a stand-off, before locals heard yet more screams and sobbing.

The witness added: “It’s all so surreal for a Tuesday morning. I was in my house watching out my window the whole time so I never personally felt worried but kids were on the way to school and my neighbours were on the way to work.”

The scene near a sword attack is cordoned off in Hainault, east London (Getty Images)
The scene near a sword attack is cordoned off in Hainault, east London (Getty Images)

Another witness, Manpreet Singh, said he saw the police taser the suspect at around 7am after trying to get into a house.

“I just walked out of the office, it was 7am and I heard chaos on the other side of the road,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“I saw a group of people, five or six of them, trying to fight off a guy - he had a sword on his hand.”

Mr Singh said one of the people fighting off the suspect was injured while others tried to call the police and ambulance services. The man was heading towards the station and tried to access a house nearby when he was caught.

“He tried to get into one of the houses but couldn’t get into it and that’s when they tasered him,” he added.

A resident from Laing Close relived the moment she hid inside her home as the suspect shouted “do you believe in God” outside, while an injured person lay on the ground nearby.

“He was wielding his sword trying to attack the police but then they sprayed him and he ran away,” she said.

“He was shouting at the police ‘do you believe in God?’, also at the ambulance.

“We were very scared and trying to hide and not show ourselves through the window, because he was standing right next to our house and he could have seen us if he looked up.”

Another onlooker told The Independent: “I was woken up by loud shouting outside and then I saw someone stab another kid.

“Then police arrived like crazy. The young man made his way towards the station and I’m not sure what happened there.

“He had a big sword though and was right outside my door. I’m just lucky my mums okay. She was about to leave for work.”

Police tape around a van on Laing Close in Hainault, east London following the rampage (Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire)
Police tape around a van on Laing Close in Hainault, east London following the rampage (Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire)

On one of the alleged victims, he added: “It was young man. He lives around the corner and was probably off to school.”

Another neighbour hailed the actions of one female police officer who took on the suspect by herself - reportedly managing to pepper spray him in the face.

Robert Harrison, 71, was woken screaming saw the suspect walking past his house in New North Road.

He told The Independent: “I saw him walk right past in his orange hoody. There was something wrong with him he was shouting and hollering.

“I normally go for a walk at that time. He was really agitated shouting and swearing loads of people came out to have a go at him.

“There was a policewoman by herself trying to stop him. She was so brave. People criticise the police but she was amazing.

“He lunged towards her and she sprayed him with something. She was trying to stop him from getting to the train station.”

Wes Streeting, Labour MP for Ilford North, posted on X that a “critical incident” had been declared and one male had been detained.

He later thanked emergency responders and “heroic” Met police officers “who put themselves in harm’s way to protect others” adding: “They are the best of us.”

“My prayers are with those who’ve been injured and their loved ones,” he said.

“I know there will be widespread fear and alarm in our community, but the police have made an arrest and are not looking for other suspects.”

The Met said in a statement that they were called to reports of a vehicle being driven into a house in Thurlow Gardens and stabbings shortly before 7am.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan said: “This must have been a terrifying incident for those concerned.

“I know the wider community will be feeling shock and alarm.

“People will want to know what has happened and will we provide more information as soon as we can.”

A 36-year-old man has been arrested by the Met Police (Peter Kingdom/PA Wire)
A 36-year-old man has been arrested by the Met Police (Peter Kingdom/PA Wire)

Police said they are not looking for any more suspects and the incident does not appear to be terror-related.

The London Fire Brigade said it was called to assist the incident in Hainault, with crews at the scene between 7.35am and 9.24am.

A spokesman added: “Firefighters were mobilised to assist police and London Ambulance Service colleagues at an incident near Hainault underground station.

“Crews supported London Ambulance Service crews in the provision of immediate emergency care.”

Sadiq Khan said he was ‘absolutely devastated’ by the news (X)
Sadiq Khan said he was ‘absolutely devastated’ by the news (X)

Taking to social media, London’s mayor Sadiq Khan said: “I am absolutely devastated by the news from Hainault this morning.

“I remain in constant contact with the Commissioner. A man has been arrested and the area secured.

“The police are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident. There will be additional reassurance patrols in the area.

“The police officers and emergency services showed the best of our city - running towards danger to protect others and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.”

Rishi Sunak has paid tribute to the bravery of emergency services who responded to the attack, adding: “Such violence has no place on our streets.”

This is a breaking news story... More to follow.