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Man 'Jumps' Off Westminster Bridge Into River Thames Hours Before London Terror Attack Vigil, Sparking Huge Search

The man is believed to be in his 20s.

29/03/2017 11:29 PM AEDT | Updated 29/03/2017 11:29 PM AEDT

A search is underway on the River Thames after a man is believed to have “jumped” off the Westminster Bridge, just hours before a vigil is due to take place for the victims of last week’s terror attack.  

Police were called to the bridge in central London shortly before 11.30am following reports that a man was in the water.

The search comes hours ahead of a service due to begin at 2.30pm to remember the four people killed in the London terror attack.

Images from the scene show ambulances and police officers on the bridge, while footage shows police boats combing the river. 

Luke Heydenrych
<strong>Emergency services on Westminster Bridge following reports that a man had fallen in the water.</strong>

It is believed the man involved is in his 20s, the Met said in a statement, adding that the incident is not being treated as suspicious.

One witness who was at the scene said the man “jumped off the bridge”.

London Fire Brigade said in a statement: “Firefighters were called to reports of a man in the water between Lambeth Brigade and Westminster Bridge.

“The Brigade’s fire boat alongside the police and RNLI are searching the stretch of water.”

Stefan Wermuth / Reuters
<strong>Emergency services patrol after a man fell off Westminster Bridge into the Thames.</strong>

On Wednesday afternoon police officers will be among those to join together on Westminster Bridge in a show of solidarity following last week’s terror attack.

The show of solidarity comes as an inquest for the victims is to open seven days after Khalid Masood launched an 82-second rampage.

American Kurt Cochran, 54, retired window cleaner Leslie Rhodes, 75, and Aysha Frade, 44, died after the Muslim convert drove at pedestrians on Westminster Bridge last Wednesday.  

The 52-year-old was shot dead by armed police after fatally knifing Pc Keith Palmer, 48, in the Palace of Westminster’s cobbled forecourt.

Darren Staples / Reuters
<strong>Police officers and civilians look at floral tributes near Westminster Bridge following a recent attack in Westminster.</strong>

The Metropolitan Police Federation said the intention is to link hands across Westminster Bridge from the south to the north at the moment the attack began.

Organisers said the event will show “we will not be divided. Linking all nations, faiths, orientation and sexes”. 

It is expected to begin at 2.15pm, and a minute’s silence to remember those who died will take place at 2.40pm. 

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association will be involved, and around 500 participants are expected on the bridge, wearing T-shirts printed with the message “I am a Muslim, ask me anything”, the Press Association reports.

The inquest for the victims will open and be adjourned at Westminster’s Coroner’s Court as police continue to investigate the attack. 

A separate inquest for Masood will be opened at the same court on Thursday.

Scotland Yard has said there is “no evidence” Masood was linked to Islamic State or al Qaida but he “clearly” had an interest in jihad.

The force is continuing to urge anyone who was in contact with Masood on the day of the attack to come forward.

His communications on March 22 are a main line of inquiry, amid reports his phone connected with encrypted messaging service WhatsApp just before the attack.

Twelve people are still being treated at hospitals across London.

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