22 IN­JURED IN LONDON TUBE STA­TION BLAST

An im­pro­vised explosive de­vice was det­o­nated dur­ing morn­ing rush hour

New Straits Times - - World -

LONDON

AEARL MAIZE, ‘Cassini’ project man­ager

T least 22 peo­ple were in­jured when a bomb det­o­nated on a packed London Un­der­ground train dur­ing the morn­ing rush hour yes­ter­day, in what po­lice are treat­ing as a “ter­ror­ist in­ci­dent”.

Wit­nesses re­ported see­ing a “wall of fire”, and pas­sen­gers with fa­cial burns and hair com­ing off at Parsons Green sta­tion in west London after the ex­plo­sion.

“At 8.20am, at Parsons Green sta­tion, there was an ex­plo­sion on a Tube train. We now as­sess that this was a det­o­na­tion of an im­pro­vised explosive de­vice,” po­lice coun­tert­er­ror chief Mark Row­ley said.

Twit­ter user @Rrigs, who posted pic­tures of a white bucket smoul­der­ing on the train, said: “Ex­plo­sion on Parsons Green District Line train. Fire­ball flew down car­riage and we just jumped out open door.”

The bucket looked like the type used by builders and there ap­peared to be ca­bles com­ing out of it. Ac­cord­ing to Sky News, in­ves­ti­ga­tors sus­pected the de­vice did not fully det­o­nate.

The Na­tional Health Ser­vice said 18 peo­ple were taken by am­bu­lance to hospi­tal, while four oth­ers made their own way to hos­pi­tals.

Row­ley said most of the peo­ple taken to hospi­tal were be­ing treated for “flash burns”. The MI5 in­tel­li­gence ser­vice was as­sist­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tors. An armed po­lice of­fi­cer stand­ing guard out­side the Parsons Green un­der­ground tube sta­tion in west London yes­ter­day. (In­set) Per­sonal be­long­ings and a bucket with an item on fire in­side it are seen on the floor of a train car­riage at Parsons Green sta­tion.

Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May said her thoughts were with the in­jured and would chair an emer­gency cab­i­net meet­ing later in the day.

Armed po­lice and snif­fer dogs were seen on the train and around the sta­tion, which is set in a leafy sub­urb of south­west London pop­u­lar with well-off com­muters and filled with chic cafes.

The sta­tion was closed, as well as an en­tire sec­tion of the District Line where it is lo­cated, and po­lice urged peo­ple to stay away from the area.

Lo­cal res­i­dents and busi­nesses ral­lied to­gether with busi­nesses of­fer­ing tea and the use of their toilets to lo­cal res­i­dents un­able to get home.

The in­ci­dent is the fifth ter­ror at­tack in six months in Bri­tain since March, when a lone at­tacker mowed down pedes­tri­ans and stabbed a po­lice of­fi­cer out­side the Bri­tish Par­lia­ment.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan urged Lon­don­ers to re­main “calm and vig­i­lant”.

“As London has proven again and again, we will never be in­tim­i­dated or de­feated by ter­ror­ism,” he said in a state­ment. AFP

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