3 hospitalized, including children, in London ‘corrosive substance’ attack

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Police in London have launched a manhunt for a suspect after a “corrosive substance was thrown at people,” leaving a woman and her two young daughters hospitalized. 

The incident happened Wednesday night along Lessar Avenue in the southern part of the city and the Metropolitan Police say investigators believe the male suspect and the woman “are known to each other.” 

“It was reported that a man had thrown a child to the ground and that a substance — which we now know to be alkaline — had been thrown,” Superintendent Gabriel Cameron said. “The man attempted to make off in a car but collided with a stationary vehicle, and then made off on foot, in the direction of Clapham Common.” 

Cameron said the attack injured a 31-year-old woman and her two daughters, ages 8 and 3. They all remain in the hospital as of Thursday morning. 


London corrosive substance attack

Police at the scene of an incident near Clapham Common, south London, on Wednesday, Jan. 31 after a “corrosive substance” was thrown at a woman and her two young children.  (James Weech/PA Images via Getty Images)

“While none of their conditions are life-threatening, the injuries to the woman and younger girl could be life-changing. It may be some time before hospital staff are able to say how serious that might be,” Cameron said. 

Police said “Three women — two in their 30s and one in her 50s — who were injured when they bravely came to the aid of the family, have all been discharged from [a] hospital with minor burn injuries” and a “man in his 50s who also helped declined hospital treatment for minor injuries he suffered.” 

Five officers who responded to the scene suffered injuries but have since been discharged from hospital care after receiving treatment, according to Cameron. 


London police investigate crime scene

The substance used in the attack in London has been identified by police as alkaline. (James Weech/PA Images via Getty Images)

“All these members of the public, and my officers, deserve enormous recognition and praise for coming to the aid of this woman and children in what must have been a terrifying scenario,” he said. “We will provide them with all the support we can.” 

The Met Police are now working to track down the suspect. 

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“Officers from across the Met are working with partner agencies and forces to locate and arrest the man,” Cameron said. “While this appears a targeted attack, he is a dangerous individual and we urgently need to find him.” 

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