By Alex Matthews and Katy Gill
A ‘gang fight’ at an underground station in central London caused widespread panic amid fears terrorists had struck the capital, witnesses claimed.
Onlookers told how panicked commuters and shoppers fled Oxford Circus tube station and ran for their lives after around 20 people began a brawl on a platform.
People were locked in nearby department stores for half and hour on the advise of armed police officers.
Boots pharmacist Alyssa Puddle, 25, originally from Cwmbran, South Wales, said: “I witnessed the fight on the westbound platform that involved around 20 people.
“There was a lot of screaming, shouting and crying.
“As I got on the tube the comms speaker announced the station as being evacuated and for everyone to leave.
“As the tube doors shut police officers had arrived.
“As the speakers went off I saw everyone run from the platform. People panicked because it looked very sinister.”
Black Friday shoppers were forced to take cover in London’s busiest shopping street amid reports of gunfire at the nearby tube station.
Filmmaker Jessica Bishop was among customers stranded in Top Shop as the store was locked down.
She tweeted: “Locked in @Topshop at Oxford Circus… what is happening? Twitter news says ‘incident’
Brett Cove, 33, was stood outside the Liberty department store on Regent Street when people started running towards him.
Within seconds, police officers came running past and told people to lock themselves in the store.
He spent the next 30 minutes inside the Liberty London with 20 other people before they were told to leave the area
Brett, a photographer, said: “I was just on the corner outside Liberty when armed police came past and told everyone to get inside.
“There were people running and shouting and there was general panic.
“Once we were inside the store everyone fell silent. It was scary
“One man ran passed and tried to open the doors to get safely inside, but when they didn’t open he ran off down the road.
“We had no idea what was going on.
“After 30 minutes we were allowed to leave and were told to get away from the area. That’s exactly what I’m doing.”