Anti-terror police have tonight been called in after a driver ploughed into a north London police station before dousing the road with a flammable liquid and sending it up in flames.
Witnesses captured the dramatic moment officers tackled a man to the ground outside Edmonton Police Station on Fore Street at around 7pm.
Separate videos posted to social media appears to show the driver pouring petrol on to the street and setting it alight in front of horrified onlookers.
Scotland Yard said the police station was evacuated and sealed off by a large cordon.
A white man, 45, has been arrested on suspicion of arson and and ‘a number of other offences,’ police say.
The force said the incident remains a ‘local investigation’, but added that counter-terrorism police have been called in to support its officers.
They later added that the incident is not believed to have been terror-related.
Fire and ambulance crews were also scrambled to the scene, but no injuries have yet been reported.
Witnesses captured the moment officers tackled a man to the ground outside Edmonton Police Station on Fore Street at around 7pm
Videos show a man pouring a clear flammable liquid on to the tarmac before sending it up in flames in front of horrified onlookers
A car is seen jutting out from the side of the building which has now been sealed off by a police cordon
A flurry of footage recorded by witnesses and posted to social media shortly after 7pm chronicle the man’s dramatic arrest.
Video shows a blaze raging on the road outside the police station where traffic has stopped.
Officers are seen bundling out of a marked police car and racing after a man, who is then detained and pinned to the ground by three constables.
Police yell ‘stay back’ and battle the flames using extinguishers grabbed from their car.
The front of the vehicle is pictured wedged inside the police station’s glass doors, which appear to have been smashed open.
Serife Mazlum, who owns a small online business, said another man watching the scene from across the street ran to intervene after the driver had set the fuel alight.
She said: ‘He pinned (the driver) to the ground just as the police was arriving.
‘So by the time the police came and got out of the cars the citizen had already slammed him to the ground.’
She said efforts were then focused on extinguishing the fire, which was ‘just getting worse’.
Asked how she and her husband are now feeling, Mrs Mazlum said: ‘To be honest in Edmonton Green whenever the helicopter flies over your head you know there’s a problem.
‘(The driver) looked like a pretty sane person. It was intentional.
‘It is horrifying. As soon as my husband sent me the video he said we’re closing (the shop) and coming home.’
Speaking on behalf of her husband Ogur Mazlum, 34, who speaks limited English, she said: ‘He literally just walked out (of his shop) to just call me and see if everything’s OK at home.
‘Then he said I have to shut the phone quickly. That was when the car crashed into the front of the police station.’
Mrs Mazlum said her husband saw that the car had crashed through a glass entrance to the police station and that a man was unable to enter through a second barrier despite attempts.
‘He was insisting on trying to get inside, but the glass door wouldn’t break anymore so he couldn’t get any closer,’ she added.
‘Then he casually got out of the car with a tank of petrol. He poured it down from the car into the middle of the road and then he just set it on fire.’
Mrs Mazlum added that ‘luckily’ the man had ‘missed a spot’ and the flaming petrol did not reach traffic which had stopped on the road nearby.
Unverified footage shows officers tackling a man to the ground outside Edmonton Police Station on Fore Street, which sources say has been evacuate
Peter Allimadi, 30, from Edmonton, who works in Whitehall, said he heard ‘shouting, a loud crash and sirens from everywhere’.
He said: ‘I came out of the Lidl to see what the commotion was about, police screaming instructions to citizens to back away, some scared shoppers, commuters and parents running from the scene.’
Scotland Yard said: ‘At around 18:58hrs on Wednesday a vehicle collided with the station office at Edmonton Police Station.
‘A man – no further details – has been detained in connection with the incident.
‘The vehicle remains at the scene. Specialist officers are in attendance while it is examined. At this stage we have not been informed of any injuries.
‘London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade are present. The police station has been evacuated and a large police cordon is in place.’
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: ‘We were called at 7pm to reports of a vehicle that had gone into a building.
‘The incident in still ongoing and we are assisting the Metropolitan Police, who are leading on this incident.’
Councillor Ergin Erbil tweeted: ‘Reports of major incident declared at Edmonton Green police station. If you’re in the Fore Street area stay safe and be careful.’
Unverified footage shows a cordon outside Edmonton Police Station on Fore Street, which has been evacuated, according to sources