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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Liverpool explosion: ‘Hero’ taxi driver David Perry back at home as PM praises his ‘incredible bravery’

The taxi driver who escaped the car explosion outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital has been named as David Perry – with the prime minister saying it appears the cabbie acted with “incredible presence of mind and bravery”.

It is understood Mr Perry has been discharged from hospital and is recovering at home.

The male passenger of the car died at the scene in Sunday morning’s incident, and three men – aged 29, 26, and 21 – have been arrested under the Terrorism Act.

The identity of the person killed hasn’t yet been confirmed.

Liverpool explosion latest – live updates

One person died and another was injured in the fire outside of the hospital
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One person died in the fire outside the hospital
Police were called to the scene just before 11am on Sunday. Pic: Chris Neill
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Police were called to the scene just before 11am on Sunday. Pic: Chris Neill

A video shows the cab – a black estate or people carrier – slowly pulling up yards from reception and a violent blast sending white smoke and debris shooting into the air as soon as it stops.

Emerging from the smoke, the cabbie runs from the driver’s side door as a man in a yellow hi-viz vest dashes to help.

The vehicle is then engulfed in flames, but luckily at the moment of explosion the area appears deserted apart from some parked cars.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday morning that it appeared Mr Perry had acted with “incredible presence of mind and bravery”.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Liverpool mayor Joanne Anderson also praised his actions.

“The taxi driver, in his heroic efforts, has managed to divert what could have been an absolutely awful disaster at the hospital,” she said.

“Our thanks go to him and our emergency services, and authorities have worked through the night to divert anything further, and we’ve all been on standby and in constant contact to provide any support that’s needed.”

She added: “Well, we knew that the taxi driver had stood out and locked the doors, we knew that early on.”

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Smoke and flames after fatal car explosion

Phil Garrigan, chief fire officer of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, said the blaze was “fully developed” when his crews arrived and that the driver had escaped before it took hold.

He told reporters: “The operational crews extinguished the fire rapidly but, as has been reiterated by the police chief constable, there was one fatality.”

An armed police officer holds a breaching shotgun, used to blast the hinges off a door, at an address in Rutland Avenue in Sefton Park, after an explosion at the Liverpool Women's Hospital killed one person and injured another. Three men have been arrested under the Terrorism Act.
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An officer holds a breaching shotgun, used to blast the hinges off a door, at an address in Rutland Avenue
Police activity in Sutcliffe Street in the Kensington area of Liverpool, after an explosion at the Liverpool Women's Hospital killed one person and injured another on Sunday. Three men - aged 29, 26, and 21 - were detained in the Kensington area of the city and arrested under the Terrorism Act in connection with the incident. Picture date: Monday November 15, 2021.
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Armed police swooped on several houses in Sutcliffe Street, where the three arrests were made

After the explosion, armed police swooped on several terraced houses in Sutcliffe Street in the city, where the three arrests were made.

Sections of Sutcliffe Street and Boaler Street remain cordoned off this morning, with a heavy police presence at the scene.

A similar police scene was in place at Rutland Avenue in Sefton Park, where a number of residents were evacuated overnight from their homes.

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‘We are keeping an open mind’

A convoy of seven unmarked vehicles – three vans and four cars – entered the cordon in the early hours of the morning.

Counter-terrorism officers are leading the investigation “out of caution” but detectives say they are keeping an “open mind”.

Earlier, Conservative party co-chairman Oliver Dowden told Sky News it was a fast-moving investigation.

“It is an emerging situation and the home secretary is being kept briefed on it,” he said.

“It is a reminder to us all that the threat of terrorism hasn’t gone away and how much we depend on our police and security services.”

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