Police said an altercation had erupted between two men on a platform at Oxford Circus Tube station (AFP)
Two men today handed themselves in to the police probing an "altercation" between a duo which is believed to have sparked a "mass evacuation" in the busy Oxford Circus area of London. The incident left 16 people injured.
According to officials, one person suffered serious leg injuries in the chaos in central London yesterday. The two men, aged 21 and 40, turned themselves in after the Scotland Yard released CCTV images of the people wanted for questioning in the episode.
The incident caused widespread panic as people rushed out of the Oxford Circus underground train station as rumours of gunshots being fired spread.
"I would like to thank the public and the media for assisting us with this witness appeal," said British Transport Police (BTP) chief superintendent Martin Fry as he confirmed that two men had attended a police station "voluntarily" and have been questioned as part of their ongoing investigation.
The police force said it believed an altercation had erupted between two men on a platform at Oxford Circus Tube station, which had resulted in the scenes of mass panic among the public.
The Metropolitan Police along with BTP officers had rushed to the scene after numerous emergency calls to the 999 number from members of the public, many of whom reported hearing gunshots.
People were told to seek refuge in nearby buildings and shoppers were barricaded inside stores on Oxford Street as armed police officers were deployed.
"Given the nature of the information received, the Met responded in line with our existing operation as if the incident was terrorism, including the deployment of armed officers," the Met Police said.
Following a thorough search of the area, the police reported no casualties, evidence of any shots fired or any suspects.
The heightened armed presence was "stood down" within a couple of hours and the panic subsided for the area to return to its busy Black Friday sales activity.
Social media has been widely blamed for the panic, which caused a stampede that resulted in most of the injuries.
The UK has seen four serious terrorist attacks this year, with three of them across parts of London -- the Parliament, London Bridge and Finsbury Park -- and the fourth in Manchester.
Britain's terror threat level is set at severe, which means an attack in highly likely, and security forces are trained to treat any reports of feared attacks as terrorist incidents.
The incident last evening was instantly trending on social media, with British pop singer Olly Murs taking to Twitter to claim a shooting at London's famous Selfridges store on Oxford Street.
He tweeted for everyone to "get out of @Selfridges now gun shots!!" The 33-year-old, who has 7.8 million Twitter followers, has since defended his decision to tweet inaccurate information which led to mass panic.