UPDATED 06/19/17 12:17 a.m.
LONDON (CBSNewYork/CBS News) — One person was arrested after a vehicle rammed into and injured several pedestrians near a North London mosque early Monday, police said.
One person was confirmed dead late Sunday New York time. Metropolitan Police said eight people were injured and taken to hospitals, and two more were treated at the scene for minor injuries.
Metropolitan Police said they were called to the scene on Seven Sisters Road at Whadcoat Street at 12:20 a.m. Monday local time. They said “a number of casualties” were being treated after the incident.
Worshipers were leaving the Finsbury Park mosque shortly after midnight prayers when the incident occurred, a witness told Sky News.
The U.K. Muslim Council of Britain said they had been told worshipers were run over as they left the mosque. “Our prayers are with the victims,” they said on Twitter.
The council said the collision happened outside the Muslim Welfare House right near the mosque, Sky News reported.
Police said one person was arrested and shut down streets to isolate the area.
Police described the suspect they arrested a 48-year-old man, and said he was arrested after members of the public apprehended him. They said he was taken to the hospital as a precaution and would be taken into police custody once discharged.
Witnesses said they saw a second person in the van.
“When they stop, two guys run away, and one guy, people stop him,” a witness said, “and he tried to run, and people want to beat him, but some of the guys, they say, ‘Calm down.’”
The mosque’s chairman, Mohammed Kozbar, called the incident a “cowardly attack” on Twitter.
“Our thoughts and prayers with those who got injured and [affected] by this cowardly attack in Finsbury Park area, many casualties in the floor,” Kozbar tweeted.
Mohammed Abdullah, a delivery driver who was on a bicycle three cars behind the incident, told Sky News he saw the van make a rapid left turn. Soon afterward, he said he saw six or seven people on the ground, most of them men.
Another witness, who lives near the scene, told the BBC she heard screaming from her residence. “From the window, I started hearing a lot of yelling and screeching, a lot of chaos outside. Everybody was shouting: ‘A van’s hit people, a van’s hit people.’ There was this white van stopped outside Finsbury Park mosque that seemed to have hit people who were coming out after prayers had finished.”
The Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command is investigating the incident.
Prime Minister Theresa May has described the situation Monday as a “terrible incident.”
“All my thoughts are with those who have been injured, their loved ones and the emergency services on the scene,” she said in a statement.
Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party leader, also said that he was “totally shocked” by the event. “I’ve been in touch with the mosques, police and Islington council,” he said in a statement on Twitter.
The Muslim Council of Britain said witness accounts indicated Islamophobia may have motivated the incident and believes it was deliberate.
“During the night, ordinary British citizens were set upon while they were going about their lives, completing their night worship. My prayers are with the victims and their families,” said the statement from Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain. “It appears from eye witness accounts that the perpetrator was motivated by Islamophobia.”
The incident Monday follows two deadly attacks in London in which pedestrians were deliberately mowed down by vehicles. One happened on Westminster Bridge in March, the other on London Bridge earlier this month.
In May, Manchester was also hit by a violent attackwhen a bomber killed more than 20 people at an Ariana Grande concert.
The terror alert has been set as “severe” in the U.K.