Copycat ‘U-Haul’ Incident in UK? Car Rams Into Gate at Prime Minister’s Official Residence

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A car crashed through the gates at Downing Street in London on Thursday around 4:20pm. Prime Minister Rishi Sunder lives and works there. The car got past a low barrier that prevented traffic from turning onto the street, but it was stopped in front of the main security gates made of black wrought iron. A video shows a silver Kia moving slowly across Whitehall Street before it crashes. The vehicle is believed to have come from the parking lot adjacent to the main building of Ministry of Defense.

This incident is a copycat crash that occurred Monday night near the White House in Washington DC involving a U-Haul truck. The driver of the UHaul moving truck that crashed in Washington DC on Monday night, near the White House, has been arrested as well.

UPDATE U-Haul driver who crashed into WH security barrier identified, multiple charges filed

The UK incident has not been classified as terrorist-related. However, the suspect was arrested for criminal damage and driving dangerously.

Police officers put items in evidence bags as they searched the car shortly after the incident. About two hours after the incident, the car was removed from the scene.

The official residence and office for the UK Prime Minister is 10 Downing Street (also known as “Number 10”), also called 10 Downing Street in the UK. The Prime Minister, who was in Number 10 when the accident occurred, was evacuated after the building was first locked.

Downing Street, the hub of UK government, is heavily fortified. Previously, the building was open to all, but vehicles have been prohibited since the 1970s. The current security gates, installed in 1980, were added to close off the street to cars. The security was increased after a mortar strike by the Irish Republican Army in 1991, during a time known as The Troubles.

The UK Metropolitan Police of Westminster issued a statement regarding the incident.

Around 16:20hrs, a car crashed into the gates of Downing Street in Whitehall. A man was arrested at the scene by armed officers on suspicion of criminal damages and dangerous driving. No injuries have been reported. The investigation is ongoing.

A small cordon remains in place outside Downing Street after a car collided with the gates earlier this afternoon. Westminster police are handling the incident, which is not being treated as a terror-related incident.

After the incident, large sections of Whitehall Street were closed and are now open to the public.