English taxi driver David Perry is being praised as a hero for locking a terror suspect inside his car moments before an explosion outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital, saving an unknown number of lives and narrowly escaping with his own.
In footage captured via CCTV, the taxi can be seen speeding into a traffic circle in front of the hospital before the explosion went off. Perry then emerged from the taxi, running to safety as concerned bystanders approached to give him aid. Moments later, the taxi became completely engulfed in flames.
It is unclear at what point Perry became aware of the explosive, but he apparently locked the doors of the taxi in an effort to prevent the suspect from escaping.
The New York Post reported that British police are treating the blast as a “terrorist incident” and have arrested four men in connection with the attack. Sunday, the day on which the explosion occurred, was Remembrance Day in the UK, which honors the country’s war veterans. Police have not ruled out a connection between the attack’s motivation and the holiday.
According to Metro, the suspect asked Perry to take him to Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral, where military personnel, veterans and families of fallen soldiers had gathered for a service. After encountering road blockages, they ended up in front of Liverpool Women’s Hospital where the bomb detonated for unknown reasons.
The mayor of Liverpool and the British prime minister have both praised Perry’s heroism. Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson told the BBC, “The taxi driver in his heroic efforts have managed to divert what could have been an absolutely awful disaster. Our thanks go to him.”
“What yesterday showed above all is that the British people will never be cowed by terrorism, we will never give in to those who seek to divide us with senseless acts of violence,” said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday. “And our freedoms and our way of life will always prevail.”
Perry sustained burns and injuries from shrapnel during the explosion, but has been treated and released from the hospital.
“He is without doubt lucky to be alive. The explosion happened whilst he was in the car and how he managed to escape is an utter miracle. He certainly had some guardian angels looking over him,” wrote Perry’s wife Rachel in a Facebook post. She added that Perry is “doing ok but is extremely sore and just trying to process what happened.”