Northern Ireland

Stockholm attack: NI man witnesses 'mass panic'

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Media captionEnniskillen teacher Jonathan Lappin and journalist Philip O'Connor in Stockholm

A man from Northern Ireland has described the "mass panic" he witnessed after a lorry smashed into a store in Stockholm on Friday.

Jonathan Lappin, a science teacher from Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, was in a coffee shop with a colleague opposite the store when the incident happened.

He said he saw people running with their phones out and initially "thought they were chasing a celebrity".

Swedish police have said at least four people have been killed so far.

Speaking to the BBC, Dr Lappin said: "People started to mass panic, and run into the coffee shop and crowd the back of it.

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Media caption'Mass panic' in aftermath of Stockholm attack
Image copyright Lasse Gare
Image caption The immediate aftermath of the scene in central Stockholm

"There was a lot of confusion, people were running out of the coffee shop and people who worked there were saying, 'don't worry, sit down again'.

"That's when I started to see the police arrive, and they were yelling loudly at people to evacuate."

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Image caption Special police forces work at the scene

Dr Lappin said he stayed in the coffee shop with his colleague for a few minutes, but then decided to try to leave the scene.

'Smell the burning'

He said that as soon as they came out into the street, they "could smell the burning and the smoke" - but did not fully understand what had happened at that stage.

"I jumped to the conclusion that it must be a terrorist attack and wanted out of there, so we started to run as fast as we could down the street," added Dr Lappin.

He said the police and other authorities had arrived at the scene promptly.

"There were riot police with shields up, helicopters, everything's in lockdown. It's such a spread out city, there's a lot of confusion."

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has said everything about the incident points to an act of terrorism.

One person was arrested later in the day, police have said.

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