'What the hell?' Why this selfie has people seething

Melissa Buttigieg
News Reporter

Tourists in London taking selfies at the scene of a suspected terror attack at Westminster Bridge have sparked outrage, with people labelling the snaps as “sickening” and taken in poor taste.

A man was arrested and a number of cyclists and pedestrians injured after a car collided with security barriers outside Britain’s Houses of Parliament in London on Tuesday.

Tourists pose for a group selfie at the police cordon on Westminster Bridge after a car crashed outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London on Tuesday morning. Source: Reuters/Andrew Marshall

Parliament Square was closed and the streets around Parliament Square, Millbank and Victoria Tower Gardens cordoned off as dozens of armed police swooped on the scene. But that hasn’t stopped  dozens of tourists posing for selfies and pictures from the location.

Setting up photo opportunities close to where police have cordoned off the area outside the Houses of Parliament, groups of visitors appeared oblivious to the seriousness of the situation.

The tourists’ actions have outraged many Brits, who have called the picture opportunities as “sickening” and “disrespectful”. Reuters/Henry Nicholls

One couple took pictures next to the police “do not cross” tape with an officer in the background.

SBS’s Chief Europe Correspondent Ben Lewis was one of those who tweeted disgust over people taking pictures in the wake of the incident.

“There’s literally a tourist group at the terror cordon having a tour, in the middle of road,” BBC journalist Edward Lawrence reported from the scene.

Others shared their outrage at the seemingly oblivious tourists taking happy snaps metres from where cyclists were thrown off their bikes, and pedestrians were mowed down.

“What’s with those tourists taking selfies near parliament after the attack this morning?” They wouldn’t be doing that if they were the ones that got hit by the car … idiots,” one person tweeted.

Another wrote: “What the hell is wrong with people?”

“Some people have no consideration for others,” read another tweet.

Two people were taken to hospital, while a third person with minor injuries was assessed at the scene, the London Ambulance Service said.

Forensic investigators work at the site where a car crashed into barriers, pedestrians and cyclists. Reuters/Henry Nicholls

One was discharged from St Thomas’ Hospital before midday on Tuesday, while a woman is being treated for serious but not life-threatening injuries at St Mary’s Hospital.

Addresses searched in London terror probe

Counter-terrorism officers are currently carrying out searches at two addresses in Birmingham and a residential property in Nottingham as part of the probe.

A 29-year-old man, who is a UK national, was arrested on suspicion of preparing an act of terror after the silver Ford Fiesta he was driving collided with cyclists and pedestrians before crashing into a security barrier just before 7.40am (local time) on Tuesday.

Police officers stand at the area where the car crashed outside the Houses of Parliament, London, on Tuesday morning. Source: Reuters

Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism head Neil Basu said the suspect, who is being held in custody at a south London police station, is not co-operating.

“Given that this appears to be a deliberate act, the method and this being an iconic site, we are treating it as a terrorist incident and the investigation is being led by officers from the counter-terrorism command,” he told reporters.

“We have not formally identified him yet. On the details we have at the moment, we don’t believe this individual was known to MI5 or counter-terror police.”