2 men questioned by United Kingdom police after panic in central London

Bryce Malcolmson, who works in Soho, said he was in Oxford Circus Tube station when he heard a call over the loudspeaker for a police officer to attend one of the platforms.

Several people were injured and nine were taken to hospital, including one with leg injuries, after chaos erupted in the packed station on Friday. "At this stage police have not located any casualties".

British Transport Police said the incident is believed to have started when an altercation broke out between two men on the platform.

London's Oxford Circus underground station in the heart of the British capital's main shopping district was briefly evacuated on Friday evening as armed police swooped in to tackle an unspecified incident, a Reuters witness and police said.

Oxford Circus Tube and Bond Street stations have reopened, most cordons have been removed and the area has returned to normal.

A photo of police vehicles at Oxford Circus was also included with the caption: "Armed officers have arrived at the scene after a lorry is reported to have ploughed into pedestrians".

Shops and businesses are on lockdown in the area, and police advised people nearby to "go into a building". "People turned around in a bit of pandemonium", he said. Meanwhile, anxious tweets from singer Olly Murs ― who has almost 8 million Twitter followers and was in a nearby department store at the time ― also added to the confusion.

Describing the panic, BBC producer Helen Bushby said: "I was just walking down from the BBC towards the Tube and there was a mass stampede away from the Tube as fast as they could".

Paying tribute to the "swift response" of emergency services, mayor Sadiq Khan urged Londoners to "remain vigilant and don't panic". "I think people were so unsure what had happened they were running in all directions". "It is vital that we are not complacent ― if in doubt it is always best to err on the side of caution and call the police on 999". British security forces are on high alert after a string of attacks this year, which have left scores of people dead.

  • Marlene Weaver