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London 'corrosive substance' attacker likely drowned in Thames: police

Ezedi went on the run after the 'terrifying' attack nine days ago but officers now believe he could be dead (HENRY NICHOLLS)
Ezedi went on the run after the 'terrifying' attack nine days ago but officers now believe he could be dead (HENRY NICHOLLS)

UK police on Friday said they believed a man wanted for attacking a woman and her two young daughters with a corrosive substance had likely drowned after throwing himself into the River Thames.

Metropolitan Police commander Jon Savell said officers' main working hypothesis was that suspect Abdul Ezedi had "gone into the water".

Officers had warned the public not to approach 35-year-old Ezedi who suffered severe damage to the right side of his face in the attack.

The convicted sex offender originally from Afghanistan was given asylum in Britain despite the conviction, according to reports.

He went on the run after the "terrifying" attack nine days ago on the 31-year-old woman and her daughters aged eight and three.

She remains sedated in hospital and may lose the sight of her right eye.

Ezedi was last seen on the capital's Chelsea Bridge hours after the attack in the Clapham areas of south London.

"We have looked at all of the available cameras and angles, and... there is no sighting of him coming off the bridge," detective superintendent Rick Sewart told reporters.

He said Ezedi could be seen walking up and down the bridge until he was seen to "lean over the railings" at which point the cameras lost sight of him.

Asked if he was ready to say that Ezedi was dead, Sewart said: "I'm prepared to say that he's gone into the water and if he's gone into the water then that's the most probable outcome."

Police praised multiple members of the public after the attack for "bravely" going to the aid of the woman and her children.

The UK has battled back against attacks involving corrosive substances including acid, which have declined following a peak of 941 cases recorded in 2017.

But cases spiked again in 2022, according to the charity Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI).

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