Liverpool hospital explosion: Hero cabbie locks suspect in taxi before it explodes

A HERO taxi driver thwarted a Remembrance Day bomb attack by locking a suspected terrorist in his cab.

Brave Dave Perry leapt from the car and locked the doors as the device exploded at Liverpool Women’s Hospital yesterday — killing only the male passenger who carried the bomb.

Last night David was stable in hospital with burns and shrapnel injuries, including damage to his ear.

Billy Darwin was among those paying tribute last night, posting online: “DAVID PERRY The Liverpool HERO!!!!”

He added: “David nearly paid the ultimate price to save others apparently not giving anything a second thought besides making sure he went above and beyond to keep the people of Our City safe!”

Stephen Thomas added: “The driver is my mate, and spotted the passenger acting suspiciously, so he jumped out the car.”

He went on: “This guy blew himself up, but my friend is OK. He sustained a few injuries, burns, burst eardrums and some shrapnel, but he’s OK.”

Jay Keats responded: “Your mate is a hero, locking the car too. Well done that man.”

However cabbie Kev Cuthbertson posted: “It’s my mate who got blown up. He’s in a bad, bad way. He’s a fellow driver on delta. He’s had his ear sewn back on, got burns and shrapnel wounds and other pretty serious injuries.

"He is a hero, when he noticed the bomb, he locked the scumbag in the car. But took the brunt of the blast.”

Last night an online fundraising page was set up to help David.

The organiser wrote: “His quick-thinking possibly saved a lot of lives.”

Cops confirmed three men aged 21, 26 and 29 were later arrested under the Terrorism Act elsewhere in the city.

Last night the taxi driver hailed a hero was named as David Perry.

Graphic pictures and videos captured the private hire taxi with smoke and flames billowing from it as horrified Liverpool Women’s Hospital staff and patients looked on.

Detectives have not yet declared the blast a terrorist attack, but armed officers made at least three arrests in the city within hours of the incident.

Security sources last night said “all options are on the table” as a major investigation was underway.

Spooks were urgently trying to find out the identity of the male passenger to establish if he appeared on any intelligence-led lists of suspects.

Sources said the next 24 hours would be critical, with experienced anti-terror detectives from Scotland Yard also being asked to lend their expertise.

Will Geddes, security expert and owner of International Corporate Protection, told The Sun it had all the hall marks of an IS attack because of:

He is a hero, when he noticed the bomb, he locked the scumbag in the car. But took the brunt of the blast

The target — IS has targeted a number of hospitals and medical facilities in Afghanistan recently.

The day — Remembrance Sunday as the nation honoured its war dead.

The cause — Mr Geddes suspects it was a VBIED (vehicle-borne improvised explosive device) also associated with the fanatics.

Merseyside Police confirmed it had handed over the investigation to colleagues from the North West Counter-Terrorism unit, which regularly targets Islamist and far-right inspired terror suspects.

Merseyside Police's chief constable Serena Kennedy gave a statement outside the hospital and said: “So far we understand that the car involved was a taxi which pulled up at the hospital shortly before the explosion occurred.

“Work is still going on to establish what has happened, and could take some time before we are in a position to confirm anything.

"We are keeping an open mind as to what caused the explosion but given how it has happened, out of caution, Counter Terrorism Police are leading the investigation supported by Merseyside Police.

Just hours later residents of a street near the city’s Sefton Park were ordered to remain in their homes by armed police.

Officers later confirmed the activity focusing on a semi-detached property which appeared unoccupied was linked to the hospital explosion.

A house in Kensington – two miles from the hospital – was also descended on by armed police and emergency services.

Neighbours claimed gun-toting cops pounced on two men just after 4pm.

People living near the hospital heard a couple of loud bangs and then saw smoke rising.

Dad-of-two Matt Kerr, 52, said: “I had just sat down to watch the Remembrance Sunday service as my family have served in the army when I heard a bang.

My thoughts are with all those affected by the awful incident in Liverpool today

“I did a double take and just wondered what it was. I looked out and saw smoke, then there were police everywhere and helicopters.

“It’s scary to think someone might have wanted to hurt women and children. It’s sickening.”

Shop worker Sandra Hughes, 35, said: “I saw people being turned away from hospital and police everywhere.

“It’s terrifying to think someone might have wanted to attack a hospital.”

Liverpool Women’s Hospital featured on hit Channel 4 television series One Born Every Minute and sees around 500,000 patients each year.

Around 1,350 staff work there. The hospital – where Coleen Rooney gave birth to her four sons – was immediately closed to visitors and a huge police cordon was thrown around it.

At the time of the attack, military personnel, veterans and local dignitaries were taking part in a remembrance service at Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral which is just a mile away.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “My thoughts are with all those affected by the awful incident in Liverpool today.

“I want to thank the emergency services for their quick response and professionalism, and the police for their ongoing work on the investigation.”

Hallmarks of ISIS

IF you look at all the pieces, this bares the hallmarks of a terror attack — and just like IS.

Firstly, because of the target and where it happened. IS has targeted hospitals and medical facilities in Afghanistan recently.

Secondly, because of the date. It’s very representative because it’s Remembrance Sunday.

The timing is incredibly significant. It was at 10.59am — on the nose.

And thirdly, because of what was used. It sounds like a VBIED (vehicle-borne improvised explosive device) from what I’ve heard.

You’ve got too many joined up pieces to make it a coincidence, plus the fact the attack was in Liverpool as opposed to London.

As we know with cowards like IS, they will always look for the path of least resistance — somewhere that won’t be guarded.

It won’t be long before they claim responsibility for this.

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