London, UK. August 29th: London Metropolitan Police are investigating a suspected acid attack on revelers at Europe’s biggest multicultural urban gathering, the London Notting Hill Carnival on Sunday. The Metropolitan Police said five people were injured in the attack when a “mild acidic liquid” was thrown over a number of people in Ladbroke Grove, west London, during the 50th annual Notting Hill Carnival just before 8pm on Sunday.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “Some of the crowd in the area then quickly dispersed, causing injuries to two people, who have since received treatment from the London Ambulance Service at the scene.
Three people have also reported skin irritation injuries, although these are not thought to be serious. There have been no arrests, and police are working to identify who was responsible”
The Met said there had been 122 arrests on Sunday, a fall of about 20 per cent on last year.
The carnival, which takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend, has seen thousands to take to the streets of west London over two days to celebrate Afro-Caribbean culture with the parade of bright colours and the bang of steel drums.
This year the festival held a minute’s silence for the 80 victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, when the sound systems were turned off. The Grenfell Tower tragedy was ever-present at this year’s event, from the minute’s silence observed by the crowd at 3pm on Sunday and Monday, to the murals and messages visible on the streets and the people wearing green in honour of the victims.
Photo: London Notting Hill Carnival
Policing was heavy this year, with Scotland Yard estimated to have around 6,000 officers on duty. Generally, the atmosphere between the police and the crowd was cordial, with a video of one dancing officer going viral. There were 313 arrests across the two days of carnival, which was down on previous years, but followed a controversial crackdown ahead of the event.
The Grand Finale parade saw more than 60 bands, 38 sound systems and countless dancers on floats travel through the streets. When carnival ended at 7pm, the sound systems fell silent. People gradually headed home – or to the after-parties – as dusk approached.
Notting Hill Carnival
The Notting Hill Carnival is the largest street party in Europe. It began in 1964 as a way for Afro-Caribbean communities to celebrate their cultures and traditions.The carnival’s roots lie in the Caribbean carnivals of the early 19th century. Carnivals were a particularly strong tradition in Trinidad and celebrated the abolition of slavery and the slave trade.
Notting Hill Carnival is the second biggest in the world – behind only Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. There are about 15,000 costumes on display at the carnival each year. Every costume is made by hand. Making them all is more than one million hours of work. About 30 million sequins, 15,000 feather plumes and 30 litres of body paint are used each year.
The Notting Hill Carnival is estimated to contribute about £93million to London’s economy