Local leaders praised the driver as a hero, saying that he may have prevented a bigger calamity. He escaped the burning vehicle and locked the doors, trapping a passenger carrying explosives inside

 The British police on Monday declared a blast in a taxi outside a Liverpool hospital a terrorist act and arrested a fourth person after determining that it had been caused by an “improvised explosive device,” the New York Times reports.

At the same time, local leaders praised the taxi driver as a hero, saying that he had prevented an even bigger calamity. The mayor of Liverpool, in northwestern England, said that the driver had quickly escaped the burning vehicle and locked the doors, trapping the passenger who was carrying the explosives into the taxi. The passenger was the only person killed in the blast on Sunday.

“It is not clear what the motivation for this incident is,” Russ Jackson, the head of counterterrorism policing for northwestern England, told a news conference on Monday, adding that, nonetheless, the blast was being treated as a terrorist act. “Our inquiries indicate that an improvised explosive device had been manufactured, and our assumption so far is that it was built by the passenger in the taxi.”

While attacks of this kind are rare in Britain, the country has been hit by high-profile suicide attacks in recent years. In 2005, there was a series of suicide attacks across London that killed 52 people, and in 2017, an attack on the Manchester Arena, carried out by an Islamist extremist who had met with members of ISIS, killed 22.

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