THREE people have been arrested after a taxi exploded outside of a hospital this afternoon, leaving one dead and another seriously injured.
Police announced three men – aged 21, 26 and 29 – have been detained under the Terrorism Act after the fatal blast at Liverpool Women's Hospital.
The trio were nicked in the Kensington area by counter-terror police in connection with the incident.
It comes as armed police swooped on homes in the city after the explosion at 11am today,as the nation fell silent on Remembrance Sunday.
They descended on Rutland Avenue near Sefton Park – just a mile away from the scene – this afternoon and sealed it off from the public.
Armed cops also swooped onBoaler Street, situated over two miles away, in wake of the explosion and blocked the road off.
Some reports suggest addresses are being searched while residents have complained they are unable to leave their homes.
One local, who described the situation as "alarming", said she was ordered back inside by officers.
This morning, horrified witnesses reported hearing a "loud bang" and seeing "dark smoke" as a car – believed to be a taxi – exploded in the hospital car park.
Merseyside Policeannounced one person has died and a man is being treated for serious but not life-threatening injuries.
They also confirmed the man who was driving the vehicle was injured at the scene and remains in hospital in a stable condition.
No further details on the victims have been released.
Counter-terrorism officers are investigating "out of caution" but police say the horror has not been declared a terrorist incident.
It is unclear whether the probe is focused on the fact the blast happened at the same time as Remembrance services were taking place across the country.
Officers confirmed the taxi had pulled up at the hospital shortly before the explosion.
Dramatic pictures showed a car – believed to be the taxi – on fire in the car park just inches from other parked vehicles outside the hospital's main entrance.
Another showed the shell of the car after it exploded in a fireball.
Patients inside the women's facility were quickly evacuated and transferred to other hospitals in the area.
Counter Terrorism police have confirmed that they are leading the investigation into the incident.
In a statement they said: "We are leading the investigation with support from Merseyside Police, and are keeping an open mind as to what has caused the explosion.
"We are working at a rapid pace to try and establish the circumstances behind this and will update in due course."
Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson labelled the incident as "unsettling and upsetting", but praised the emergency services for their swift response.
A Royal Logistic Corps army vehicle was seen at the scene today as the tragedy unfolded.
Merseyside Police said in a statement: "Unfortunately, we can confirm that one person has died and another has been taken to hospital where he is being treated for his injuries, which thankfully are not life-threatening.
"So far we understand that the car involved was a taxi which pulled up at the hospital shortly before the explosion occurred.
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.
"The emergency services have well-rehearsed plans for dealing with major incidents. Our response is ongoing at the hospital and will be for some time. Cordons are in place, and there are some road closures.
"This has not been declared a terrorist incident at this stage although out of caution CT detectives are leading as we try to understand the circumstances behind the explosion"
Home Secretary Priti Patel said she is "being kept regularly updated" on the car explosion in Liverpool.
Phil Garrigan, chief fire officer of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, said the car fire at Liverpool Women's Hospital was "fully developed" when two appliances arrived.
He said: "The operational crews extinguished the fire rapidly but as has been reiterated by the police chief constable, there was one fatality.
"Another individual had left the vehicle prior to the fire developing to the extent that it did. Our thoughts are with them and the families of those involved."
Liverpool Women’s Hospital announced visiting access is restricted "until further notice" and patients will be sent to other medical facilities "where possible".
A spokesperson said staff will be reviewing "patient activity for the next 24 to 48 hours" and assured support is available for anyone impacted by the incident.
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