A "dangerous" suspect remains on the loose after an acid attack in Clapham.

A woman, 31, and her two young children, aged eight and three, were taken to hospital after a man threw a suspected corrosive substance at them.

Police responded to the incident in Lessar Avenue near Clapham Common at around 7.25pm on Wednesday (January 31).

A man was seen fleeing the scene, police said.

Police have said it is believed to be a targeted attack and that the suspect is a “dangerous individual” they “urgently” need to find.

It was reported to police that a man threw a child to the ground and that an alkaline substance was thrown.

Police have said that the man tried to escape in a car but crashed into a stationary vehicle, so then ran towards Clapham Common.

It is believed that the man and woman knew each other.

Three women, two in their 30s and one in her 50s, were injured at the scene after coming to help the family.

These women have now been discharged from hospital with minor burns and injuries.

A man in his 50s who also helped declined hospital treatment for his minor injuries.

Five officers who were injured as they responded have all been treated and left hospital.

An extensive crime scene will remain in place while police investigate.

Three other members of the public were also taken to hospital after the incident.

Their injuries are thought to have been suffered as they came to the aid of the woman and her children.

One witness told the BBC the mother cried “I can’t see, I can’t see” as he tried to help.

The Metropolitan Police said three officers who responded to the incident were also injured.

Superintendent Gabriel Cameron, a senior officer who polices in Lambeth, has updated on last night’s events: "Firstly, I want to acknowledge the considerable public concern following this terrible incident, and update on the injuries suffered by the victims.

"The woman, who is aged 31, and her two daughters - aged eight and three - all remain in hospital.

“While none of their conditions are life-threatening, the injuries to the woman and younger girl could be life-changing.

“It may be some time before hospital staff are able to say how serious that might be.

"I am sure the public will join me in saying they are in our thoughts and we wish them the fullest possible recovery.

"Three women - two in their 30s and one in her 50s – who were injured when they bravely came to the aid of the family, have all been discharged from hospital with minor burns injuries.

“A man in his 50s who also helped declined hospital treatment for minor injuries he suffered.

"Five officers who were injured as they responded have all been treated and have left hospital.

"All these members of the public, and my officers, deserve enormous recognition and praise for coming to the aid of this woman and children in what must have been a terrifying scenario. We will provide them with all the support we can.

"I also want to commend nearby hotel staff after victims and officers sought refuge and water there following the incident.

"We were called to Lessar Avenue, SW4 at about 19:25hrs on Wednesday, 31 January.

"It was reported that a man had thrown a child to the ground and that a substance - which we now know to be alkaline - had been thrown.

“The man attempted to make off in a car but collided with a stationary vehicle, and then made off on foot, in the direction of Clapham Common.

"We believe the man and woman are known to each other. Our investigation is in its early stages and we are working to establish why this awful incident has happened.

"Officers from across the Met are working with partner agencies and forces to locate and arrest the man.

“While this appears a targeted attack, he is a dangerous individual and we urgently need to find him. We will release more information about him as soon as we can.

"Any members of the public who saw what happened can help us by calling 101quoting reference CAD 7790/31Jan.

“I also urge local people and drivers to check their doorbell and dash cameras for any footage that might have captured a man fleeing the area, and to please contact us immediately.

"An extensive crime scene is in place and is likely to remain in place for some time. I thank colleagues from the London Fire Brigade, London Ambulance Service and the National Police Air Service who also assisted last night.

"I don't underestimate the impact this news will have had on the local community.

“My officers are in the area carrying out patrols and I urge you to speak to them if you have any information or concerns you want to share."

Detective Superintendent Alexander Castle said on Wednesday night: “Officers are on scene following this horrific incident.

"Three victims - a woman and her two young children - have been taken to hospital for treatment.

"Three other people - all adults - have been taken to hospital for injuries sustained, we believe, as they came to their aid.

"We will update as soon as we know more about their conditions.

"Three police officers have also been taken to hospital after they responded to the incident. Thankfully we believe their injuries to be minor.

"While tests are ongoing to determine what the substance is, at this stage we believe it to be a corrosive substance.

"A man was seen fleeing the scene. We are drawing on resources from across the Met to apprehend this individual and work is ongoing to determine what has led to this awful incident.

"The National Police Air Service are assisting us. Any members of the public who can help us with information or material should call 999 immediately ref CAD 7790/31 Jan."

A spokesperson for London Ambulance Service said: “We were called today (31 January) at 7:29pm to reports of an incident on Clapham Common South Side, SW4.

“We sent a number of resources to the scene, including two incident response officers, three ambulance crews, and members of our hazardous area response team (HART).

“We treated nine people, five of whom were taken to a major trauma centre.

“Three patients were taken to a local hospital and the other was discharged at the scene.”

Marina Ahmad, Labour’s London Assembly member for Lambeth & Southwark, posted on X: “There has been a traffic collision with a man assaulting occupants in a car and throwing acid. Victims include children.”