Taxi driver's 'heroic' act to trap suspected Liverpool bomber

The UK government has raised their terror threat level from substantial to severe following a taxi explosion outside the Liverpool Women's Hospital in northern England that killed a man on Sunday (local time).

The male passenger in the taxi died in the explosion and the taxi driver — whose quick-thinking actions have been praised for foiling the suspected bomber— was injured in the blast, but is stable in hospital.

Russ Jackson, the head of Counterterrorism Policing in northwest England, said the blast at the hospital involved a homemade explosive device.

A car burns outside Liverpool Women's hospital in Liverpool, Britain November 14, 2021. Picture taken November 14, 2021. Courtesy of Carl Bessant/via REUTERS  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT.
A car burns outside Liverpool Women's hospital in Liverpool. Courtesy of Carl Bessan via Reuters

"Enquiries will now continue to seek to understand how the device was built, the motivation for the incident and to understand if anyone else was involved in it," Mr Jackson told reporters.

Three men in their 20s have been arrested under the Terrorism Act on Sunday and a fourth was detained on Monday. Police said they were believed to be "associates" of the man who died.

Screenshot of a video taken from a window looking down at a car on fire near a green roundabout. Cars can be seen parked around the roundabout near a sign that says reception.
The taxi driver was hailed a hero for locking the passenger inside. Source: ABC

"Although the motivation for this incident is yet to be understood, given all the circumstances, it has been declared a terrorist incident and counterterrorism policing are continuing with the investigation,” Mr Jackson said.

Taxi driver hailed a hero

CCTV footage shows the cab pulling up to the hospital at 10.59am on Remembrance Sunday before the blast goes off.

The taxi driver, who has been identified as David Perry, locked the doors of his cab outside the hospital so the passenger couldn't leave.

UK raised their terror threat level following taxi explosion. Source: AP
UK raised their terror threat level following taxi explosion. Source: AP

"The taxi driver, in his heroic efforts, has managed to avert what could have been an absolutely awful disaster at the hospital," Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson told the BBC.

Investigators have not confirmed on Ms Anderson’s account.

The driver managed to escape the car which was engulfing in flames after the blast went off.

Police are investigating whether it was a deliberate attack on Remembrance Sunday as the blast happened just before 11am when services were held across Britain in memory of those killed in wars.

The UK threat level was raised from substantial — meaning an attack is likely — to severe, meaning it is highly likely.

The increased threat level follows an incident in October when conservative MP David Amess was stabbed to death in what police said was an act of terrorism.

with AAP

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