- Reuters/British Transport Police
Two men who handed themselves in for questioning over an altercation that spread mass panic at London’s Oxford Circus on Friday have been released by police without arrest or charge, according to multiple reports.
The men, aged 21 and 40, volunteered for questioning on Saturday, after the British Transport Police said they believed the incident began with two men brawling on a Central Line platform at Oxford Circus tube station. They released images of the two men from CCTV footage.
A spokeswoman for the BTP said: “There are no criminal proceedings against them. They have not been arrested or charged.”
The altercation set off mass panic, with passengers fleeing from Oxford Circus station, and passers-by on street level frantically reporting sounds of gunfire. The panic sent nearby offices into lockdown, while shoppers fled stores in the belief a gunman was on the rampage. 15 people were injured in the stampedes.
Police initially treated the incident as a possible terrorist attack, but later said they had not found evidence of shooting or a gunman.
The BTP is still investigating whether there was any wrongdoing in the aftermath of the panic, according to The Guardian. No further suspects are being sought.
While the incident turned out to be trivial, it took place on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, Black Friday. The panic is also indicative of public worry around a prospective terror attack, after four incidents in London alone this year: Westminster Bridge, London Bridge, Finsbury Park, and Parsons Green.
The UK government’s official terror threat level is currently “severe,” the second-highest level.