Several hurt after auto mounts pavement near London's Natural History Museum

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A man held after a vehicle struck pedestrians outside a London museum on Saturday has been released, while remaining under investigation.

"Eleven people were found at the scene with varying injuries and nine of them have been taken to hospital, and this includes the man that was detained by police".

A large police presence descended on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, yesterday afternoon after a black Toyota Prius hit people outside the museum at about 2.20pm.

Police described it instead as "a road traffic investigation".

One witness, who gave his name only as Leonard, said: "I was near South Kensington station and there were many police officers".

Crowds in the area, which is popular with families and tourists, fled screaming in panic when the vehicle veered onto the semi-pedestrianised Exhibition Road in South Kensington. The Natural History Museum alone had 4.6m visitors past year, equivalent to around 12,600 on an average day.

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Witness footage appeared to show a man being held on the ground by three others following the collision. "Thankfully there are no serious injuries with the majority now discharged from hospital", said Detective Constable Darren Case from the Met Police Roads and Transport Policing Command.

Al Jazeera's Neave Barker, reporting from London, said that armed units and forensic teams rushed to the scene after the incident. London Ambulance Service is also at the scene to treat those injured.

The Natural History Museum is the fourth most popular tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, boasting as estimated 4.6 million visist during 2016, according to the Association of /leading Visitor Attractions. Britain has been on a "severe" terrorist threat level indicating that the Joint Terrorism Analysis Center believes an attack is viewed as highly likely.

Pictures and footage from the scene showed street damage and a massive police presence in the capital's museum district, home to the NHM, the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

In June, three ISIS terrorists drove a hired van into pedestrians on London Bridge before stabbing people in nearby Borough Market.

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