The man was reportedly shouting and waving a screwdriver around (Picture: Getty Images)

A man who was pulled out of the River Thames after police fired a Taser to detain him is in a critical condition.

Police were called to the scene in Chelsea Bridge Road, west London, after receiving reports that a man was armed with a screwdriver and shouting.

The Metropolitan Police said officers arrived at the scene and challenged a man on Chelsea Bridge before a Taser was discharged.

However, the force said this ‘did not enable the officers to safely detain him’ and the man, thought to be in his 40s, ‘subsequently entered the river’.

He was pulled to safety by the Royal National Institution and was taken to hospital, where he is now in a critical condition.

Detectives are in the process of contacting the man’s family. The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards will investigate the incident.

Police said they were unable to safely detain the man even after firing a Taser (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

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Meanwhile the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) watchdog has had the case referred to them.

Detective Chief Inspector Rory Wilkinson said: ‘My thoughts are with this man, who is extremely unwell in hospital. Officers are making every effort to make contact with his family.

‘I understand that there are always concerns about incidents in which people come to harm having been in contact with police.

‘All Met officers know that they are accountable for their actions, and a full investigation is under way to establish exactly what happened.’

This is a breaking news story – more to follow.

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