Fire­ball at­tack on Lon­don Un­der­ground

Otago Daily Times - - Front Page -

LON­DON again went on to ter­ror­ist alert yes­ter­day af­ter a blast on a packed com­muter train re­sulted in 18 peo­ple be­ing taken to hos­pi­tal with burns and other in­juries, af­ter some of those flee­ing the car­riage were tram­pled.

Metropoli­tan po­lice de­clared the in­ci­dent, at the Par­sons Green Un­der­ground sta­tion at West Lon­don at 8.20am, as ter­ror­ism­re­lated.

The blast, in which wit­nesses say a fire­ball en­gulfed the car­riage, fol­lows ter­ror­ist at­tacks in the UK ear­lier this year — on Lon­don’s West­min­ster Bridge in March, at a pop con­cert in Manch­ester in May, on Lon­don Bridge in June and an­other the same month in north Lon­don.

Un­like yes­ter­day’s in­ci­dent, all re­sulted in fa­tal­i­ties.

LON­DON: Sev­eral peo­ple were in­jured yes­ter­day af­ter wit­nesses re­ported there had been a blast on a packed rush­hour com­muter train in Lon­don and po­lice said they were treat­ing it as a ter­ror­ism in­ci­dent.

Pas­sen­gers on board a train head­ing into the cap­i­tal fled as fire en­gulfed a car­riage at Par­sons Green un­der­ground sta­tion in West Lon­don at 8.20am (7.20pm NZ time), with some suf­fer­ing burns and other in­juries in a stam­pede to es­cape, wit­nesses said.

The Lon­don am­bu­lance ser­vice said it had taken 18 peo­ple to hos­pi­tal, but said none were thought to be in a se­ri­ous con­di­tion.

Neil Basu, the se­nior na­tional co­or­di­na­tor for coun­tert­er­ror­ism polic­ing, de­clared it a ter­ror­ist in­ci­dent. Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May was to chair a meet­ing of Bri­tain’s emer­gency re­sponse com­mit­tee, her of­fice said.

‘‘It is too early to con­firm the cause of the fire, which will be sub­ject to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion that is now un­der way by the Met’s Counter Ter­ror­ism Com­mand,’’ Lon­don po­lice said.

Pic­tures taken at the scene showed a white bucket with a su­per­mar­ket freezer bag on the floor of one train car­riage. The bucket was in flames and there ap­peared to be wires com­ing out of the top.

‘‘I was on sec­ond car­riage from the back. I just heard a kind of whoosh. I looked up and saw the whole car­riage en­gulfed in flames mak­ing its way to­wards me,’’ Ola Fayank­innu, who was on the train, said.

‘‘A lot of peo­ple were tram­pled on. There were phones, hats, bags all over the place and when I looked back I saw a bag with flames. Peo­ple were cry­ing, shocked, a few peo­ple had been in­jured, some peo­ple had been tram­pled.’’

Out­side the sta­tion, a woman was sit­ting on a pave­ment with a ban­dage around her leg, while armed po­lice pa­trolled. A wit­ness saw a woman be­ing car­ried off on a stretcher with her legs cov­ered in a foil blan­ket.

In 2005, 52 peo­ple were killed when four Bri­tish Is­lamists car­ried out sui­cide bomb at­tacks on three Lon­don un­der­ground trains and a bus and this year Bri­tain has suf­fered four at­tacks blamed on ter­ror­ists.

May said in a state­ment yes­ter­day: ‘‘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.’’

For­eign Sec­re­tary Boris John­son said peo­ple should ‘‘keep calm’’ and con­tinue their lives as nor­mal.

Tele­vi­sion footage showed pas­sen­gers be­ing es­corted off a car­riage while a wit­ness saw armed po­lice scour­ing a sta­tion­ary train and a bomb dis­posal unit at the scene.

The fire bri­gade said it had sent six en­gines and 50 fire­fight­ers and Lon­don Am­bu­lance said it had sent ‘‘mul­ti­ple re­sources’’ in­clud­ing its haz­ardous area re­sponse team to the scene.

On Thurs­day, fig­ures showed there had been a record num­ber of ter­ror­ism­re­lated ar­rests in the last year. — Reuters

PHOTO: REUTERS

Help at hand . . . An in­jured woman is led away af­ter an in­ci­dent at Par­sons Green un­der­ground sta­tion in Lon­don yes­ter­day.

PHOTO: REUTERS

Af­ter­math . . . Per­sonal items and a bucket with an item on fire in­side it are seen on the floor of an un­der­ground train at Par­sons Green sta­tion in Lon­don.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.