The string of horrific acid attacks that have plagued London continued unabated Tuesday, with the most recent assault sending a pair of victims to the hospital after a corrosive liquid was reportedly sprayed on their bodies while the men walked down a busy street.
Two men, who appeared to be in their late teens, were attacked about 7 p.m. on a busy street in east London, Sky News reported. Video surfaced of the pair stripped to their underwear as firefighters doused them with water for more than 20 minutes in a desperate attempt to wash off the liquid and ease the men's pain.
"They were shouting and I gave them water and they were washing their faces. They said: ‘We’ve got acid on us,'" a shopkeeper told The Evening Standard.
"I was really scared. They were crying and saying: ‘Put the water on me,'" the shopkeeper added.
A police officer at the scene said "the color of [the teens'] faces had changed" after the incident. The two men were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries, Tower Hamlets police said.
The latest incident follows five previous attacks in the the British city earlier this month. In one assault, five men on mopeds were sprayed with the corrosive liquid in separate incidents. One of the five victims was described as being left with "life-changing" facial injuries.
A 16-year-old boy was arrested and charged with 15 offenses in that attack.
The gruesome -- and more frequent -- attacks have prompted UK residents to call for tougher sentences for the perpetrators. The British government said it is considering increasing sentences for acid attacks to a maximum of life in prison.