Terrified diners flee for their lives as military-style masked gang armed with knives set fire to a fashionable London restaurant just meters from the Beatles’ famous pedestrian crossing on Abbey Road
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Panicked diners allegedly fled a restaurant on London’s fashionable Abbey Road on Friday evening after a masked mob armed with knives entered and set fire to the restaurant.
Police were called to Monak, a popular pan-Asian and sushi venue in St John’s Wood at around 10.30pm last night, with officers and firefighters with the London Fire Brigade rushing to the scene.
The restaurant confirmed the incident on Instagram this morning, thanking its customers and staff for being calm during the attack.
According to police, a group of armed men entered the venue and began to threaten staff with knives. Forensic investigators were photographed at the scene on Saturday, but no arrests have yet been made.
The fire was quickly extinguished and no injuries were reported in the incident.
Did you witness last night’s attack? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
At around 10.30pm last night, police received a call to Monak, a popular pan-Asian and sushi venue in St John’s Wood.
The masked gang held knives and set fire to the interior of the popular Asian restaurant
A forensic officer examines broken glass on the floor as the police begin their investigation
Eyewitnesses told how the “military-style” gang left people screaming as they ran, with some narrowly avoiding the flames.
That’s what a local resident said MyLondon: ‘I saw people screaming so something was going on. I thought it was teenagers arguing Friday night. Then I saw flames in the restaurant.’
They continued, “It could have been a murder investigation. The restaurant looks like it will be out of action anyway due to significant fire damage.
“There were some people in masks and balaclavas, it was almost military style.
‘I’ve talked to a few guests. One woman said it had something to do with gasoline. Another said the fire almost reached him, but he escaped.’
The restaurant released a statement on its social media this afternoon: ‘We are devastated to announce that our restaurant has been affected by a fire. We are grateful to the firefighters and the community for their support.
“We are working hard to get back on our feet and look forward to welcoming you back as soon as possible. In the meantime, we would like to thank you for continuing to support us and following our reconstruction journey.”
The statement added: ‘We wanted to take a moment to address our customers who were present during the fire.
“We are sorry that you had to witness this traumatic event, but we are grateful for your safety and cooperation during the evacuation.
“We are committed to rebuilding our restaurant and continuing to provide the food and experience you love. Thank you for continuing to support us during this difficult time, and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.
Thank you for our employees and security guards who were present at the fire. Your professionalism and determination during this difficult situation were remarkable.
“We know this has been a difficult time for everyone, but your dedication to our company and community is truly appreciated. We look forward to working with you to rebuild our restaurant and continue to provide memorable experiences for our customers.
“Thanks again for your support and commitment.”
The exterior of the restaurant is damaged and several windows are broken
A fire extinguisher is seen on the ground as forensic officers comb through the crime scene
A police spokesman said: ‘Police were called around 10.30am on Friday 28 April to report that a number of men had entered a restaurant in Abbey Road, NW8, threatened staff with knives and started a fire.
The men ran off before police arrived. The fire has been extinguished and no injuries were reported.
An investigation is underway to identify and arrest those responsible, led by dedicated Central West CID detectives.
‘This includes an analysis of all available cameras. No arrest has been made at this stage.
“Anyone with information is asked to call 101, ref 7931/18apr, or contact Crimestoppers to remain anonymous.”