TUBE ATTACK SPARKS PANIC
A TERRORIST explosion on a London train has left commuters with serious burns and sent hundreds of others running for their lives, causing a panicked stampede.
The Friday morning commute in Britain’s capital descended into chaos after a “fireball flew down a carriage” at Parsons Green station in London’s southwest.
Police are treating the incident as terror-related, as images emerge of the suspected improvised explosive device.
The blast, which occurred at 8.20am local time (5.20pm AEST) came from a plastic bucket inside a shopping bag, left by the tube carriage door.
Images on social media show several wires coming from the flaming container, which it appears failed to detonate in full.
Reports suggest the device had a timer attached to it.
One onlooker said it was like a “fireball flew down a carriage” as panicked commuters dived out an open door.
Another man said it was a “wall of flame down a carriage after a bang”.
Counter-terrorism authorities last night took over the investigation.
Tube passenger Emma Stevie wrote on Twitter that she was forced to “run for my life”.
“Huge stampede, lots injured. Not sure why. Fire/ explosion mentioned,” she posted.
British Prime Minister Theresa May was due to chair a meeting of the Government’s Cobra emergency committee in response to the incident.
“My thoughts are with those injured at Parsons Green and the emergency services who, once again, are responding swiftly and bravely to a suspected terrorist incident,” Ms May said in a statement. US President Donald Trump appeared to criticise the ability of British police to stop the attack.
“Another attack in London by a loser terrorist,” Mr Trump tweeted. “These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!”
London Ambulance Service said 18 people were taken to hospital with a variety of injuries — none thought to be lifethreatening — caused by both the blast and the resulting crush of fleeing people.
Four more commuters with injuries presented themselves at hospitals. A local Metro reporter, who was on scene at the time of the incident, claimed several people had sustained serious burns and that “their hair was coming off”.