UK raises threat level af­ter bomb


The Citizen (Gauteng) - - WORLD -

Im­pro­vised explosive de­vice det­o­nated, causes ‘wall of fire’ dur­ing morn­ing rush hour in London.


Bri­tain raised its na­tional threat level to max­i­mum yes­ter­day af­ter a bomb det­o­nated on a London Un­der­ground train, and Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May said troops would be de­ployed to key lo­ca­tions.

The ter­ror threat has been in­creased from “se­vere” to “crit­i­cal”, mean­ing another at­tack is ex­pected im­mi­nently, af­ter the ex­plo­sion on a packed morn­ing rush­hour train left 29 peo­ple in­jured.

In a pre-recorded tele­vi­sion state­ment, May said mil­i­tary per­son­nel would re­place po­lice of­fi­cers “on guard du­ties at cer­tain pro­tected sites which are not ac­ces­si­ble to the pub­lic”.

She said: “The pub­lic will see more armed po­lice on the trans­port net­work and on our streets, pro­vid­ing ex­tra pro­tec­tion. This is a pro­por­tion­ate and sen­si­ble step which will pro­vide ex­tra re­as­sur­ance and pro­tec­tion while the in­ves­ti­ga­tion pro­gresses.”

The Is­lamic State (IS) group has claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the ex­plo­sion, Bri­tain’s fifth ter­ror at­tack in six months.

The ter­ror threat level was raised to “crit­i­cal” in May af­ter the Manch­ester bomb­ing, which was also claimed by IS.

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 on the train.

“At 8.20 this morn­ing 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 counter-ter­ror chief Mark Row­ley said.

Row­ley said most of the in­juries were due to “flash burns”, while oth­ers were wounded by the stam­pede as pas­sen­gers ran out of the sta­tion in panic.

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. One lo­cal res­i­dent, Char­lie Craven, who was on his way to the sta­tion, said he heard a “mas­sive bang”.

“I saw an orange sort of fire­ball en­com­pass­ing the whole Tube com­ing to­wards you,” he said, de­scrib­ing it also as “a wall of fire”.

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

The London Am­bu­lance Ser­vice said none of the vic­tims “are thought to be in a se­ri­ous or life-threat­en­ing con­di­tion”.

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

Fire­ball flew down car­riage and we just jumped out

Pic­ture:Getty Im­ages

HARD WORK. Fire­fight­ers talk within the po­lice cor­don at Par­sons Green Un­der­ground sta­tion yes­ter­day in London. Sev­eral peo­ple have been in­jured af­ter an ex­plo­sion on a tube train in south-west London. The po­lice are treat­ing the in­ci­dent as ter­ror­ism.

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