TUBE AT­TACK SPARKS PANIC

Mercury (Hobart) - - FRONT PAGE - STEVEN SCOTT and RHIAN DEUTROM

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”.

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