Officers were called to Chelsea Bridge Road in west London on Saturday afternoon (Picture: UKNIP/Twitter @ActivePatriotUK)

A man who ended up in the River Thames after police fired a Taser in a bid to detain him has died. 

Officers were called to Chelsea Bridge Road in west London on Saturday afternoon following reports that a man was armed with a screwdriver and shouting. 

Scotland Yard said they challenged the man before the Taser was discharged, but this ‘did not enable the officers to safely detain him’ and he ‘subsequently entered the river’.

A rescue operation was launched and the man was pulled to safety by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution before being rushed to hospital in a critical condition.

The police watchdog said a man in his early 40s has died (Picture: Twitter/@ActivePatriotUK)

In a statement on Sunday the police watchdog said the man, aged in his early 40s, had died in hospital, and that an independent inquiry was under way. 

The man’s family will be supported by specialist officers and the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards will investigate, the Metropolitan Police said.

Steve Noonan, director of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said: ‘We have spoken to the man’s family to express our sincere condolences and explain our involvement.  

‘Our sympathies remain with them at this terrible time. Our independent investigation is under way into the police actions at the bridge and we have begun gathering and reviewing evidence.’ 

The Met said a Taser was discharged but officers were unable to safely detain the man (Picture: BPM MEDIA)

The IOPC said: ‘We are investigating contact Metropolitan Police officers had with a man on Chelsea Bridge yesterday morning (Saturday) prior to him entering the River Thames. He was subsequently rescued from the water and was taken to hospital in a critical condition. The man, in his early 40s, sadly died in hospital on Saturday evening. 

‘We were notified by the Metropolitan Police on Saturday and sent investigators to the scene and to the police post incident procedure to begin our investigation. Initial information indicates that officers were responding to reports of a disturbance when they encountered the man on the bridge. During the incident Taser was deployed. 

‘Investigators have secured police body-worn video footage and initial accounts have been obtained from the officers involved. The Taser used has also been gathered and will be analysed. Investigators have overseen forensic examination of the scene.’

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Commander Alexis Boon said: ‘My thoughts are with the family of the man at this very difficult time. I offer my sincere condolences to them for their tragic loss.

‘Officers go to work every day to keep the public safe, and so any incident in which a person comes to harm following contact with police is understandably concerning.

‘Our officers face some of the most challenging and difficult situations daily, in doing so they are fully aware that their actions should rightly be subject to public scrutiny.

‘The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards made an immediate referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct following this sad incident, and we will co-operate fully with them as they work to understand the full circumstances.’

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