22 peo­ple hurt in train bomb blast

Bucket, su­per­mar­ket bag thought to be de­vice

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

LONDON: A home-made bomb ex­ploded on a packed rush­hour com­muter train in London in­jur­ing 22 peo­ple yes­ter­day, po­lice said, in what was be­ing treated as the fifth ter­ror­ism at­tack in Bri­tain this year.

Pas­sen­gers on board a train head­ing into the cap­i­tal fled as fire en­gulfed a car­riage at Par­sons Green un­der­ground sta­tion in West London af­ter the ex­plo­sion at 8.20am.

Some suf­fered burns while others were in­jured in a stam­pede to es­cape. The NHS said 22 peo­ple had been taken to London hos­pi­tals. None was thought to be se­ri­ous, the am­bu­lance ser­vice said.

“We now as­sess that this was a det­o­na­tion of an im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice,” said Bri­tain’s top counter- ter­ror­ism of­fi­cer Mark Row­ley. He said most of the in­juries were thought to be flash burns.

Row­ley de­clined to an­swer whether the au­thor­i­ties knew who was re­spon­si­ble or if the sus­pected bomber had been on the train, say­ing it was a live in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­ing as­sisted by the in­tel­li­gence ser­vices.

Pic­tures from the scene showed a white bucket with a su­per­mar­ket freezer bag on the floor of a car­riage. The bucket was in flames and wires ap­peared to be 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,” said Ola Fayank­innu, who was on the train. “There were phones, hats, bags all over the place and when I looked back I saw a bag with flames.”

Another wit­ness, who did not want to be named, said: “It was ev­ery man for him­self, peo­ple were pan­ick­ing, peo­ple just ran over each other. There was a lady with badly burned legs, it was pretty shock­ing.”

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.

Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May re­turned to London to chair a meet­ing of Bri­tain’s emer­gency re­sponse com­mit­tee late 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,” May said.

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

“Another at­tack in London by a loser ter­ror­ist,” US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said on Twit­ter. “These are sick and de­mented peo­ple who were in the sights of Scot­land Yard. Must be proac­tive!”

Bri­tish po­lice have not said any­thing about who could be be­hind the at­tack.

London Am­bu­lance said it had sent “mul­ti­ple re­sources” in­clud­ing its haz­ardous area re­sponse team to the scene and the fire brigade said it sent six en­gines and 50 fire­fight­ers who had helped evac­u­ate another train at the sta­tion with 253 peo­ple on board.

Trans­port for London said there was no ser­vice on the western part of the Dis­trict Line which runs through Par­sons Green.

In March this year, a man drove a car into pedes­tri­ans on London’s West­min­ster Bridge killing four, be­fore he stabbed a po­lice­man to death out­side par­lia­ment. A fur­ther 22 peo­ple were killed in a sui­cide bomb­ing at a pop con­cert in Manch­ester in May and the fol­low­ing month three Is­lamist mil­i­tants drove into pedes­tri­ans on London Bridge be­fore stab­bing peo­ple at restau­rants and bars, killing eight.

In June, a van was driven into wor­ship­pers near a mosque in north London which left one man dead.

On Thurs­day, fig­ures showed there had been a record num­ber of ter­ror­ism-re­lated ar­rests in the last year and ear­lier this week, Row­ley said there had been a shift-change in the threat. In the three years un­til March this year, po­lice foiled 13 po­ten­tial at­tacks but in the next 17 weeks, there were the four at­tacks while the au­thor­i­ties thwarted six others, he said. – Reuters

PIC­TURES: AP

Po­lice foren­sic of­fi­cers af­ter a ter­ror­ist at­tack at Par­sons Green tube sta­tion in London yes­ter­day.

An im­age taken from video of the de­vice on the train.

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