Hunt af­ter bomb ex­plodes on Tube

Wit­nesses de­scribe scenes of hor­ror and panic among com­muters as ex­plo­sion causes a ‘wall of flame’

Yorkshire Post - - FRONT PAGE - JOHN BLOW NEWS COR­RE­SPON­DENT Email: yp.news­desk@ypn.co.uk Twit­ter: @york­shire­post

A man­hunt has been launched af­ter a bomb was det­o­nated in an at­tack on a packed Lon­don Un­der­ground train.

Wit­nesses de­scribed scenes of ter­ror and panic as the blast sent a “fire­ball” and a “wall of flame” through a District Line ser­vice at Par­sons Green sta­tion in west Lon­don.

A MAN­HUNT has been launched af­ter a bomb was det­o­nated in a ter­ror at­tack on a packed Lon­don Un­der­ground train.

Wit­nesses de­scribed scenes of ter­ror and panic as the blast sent a “fire­ball” and a “wall of flame” through a District Line ser­vice at Par­sons Green sta­tion in west Lon­don.

Po­lice sus­pect the ex­plo­sion was sparked when an im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice was det­o­nated, and have launched a huge counter-ter­ror­ism in­ves­ti­ga­tion along­side MI5.

The de­vice is be­ing foren­si­cally ex­am­ined while de­tec­tives are scour­ing CCTV and ex­am­in­ing wit­ness state­ments for po­ten­tial leads.

The Is­lamic State ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion last night claimed re­spon­si­b­li­tity for the at­tack.

The UK’s ter­ror threat has now been raised to ‘crit­i­cal’, the Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May said.

Lon­don Mayor Sadiq Khan said “there is a man­hunt un­der way as we speak”, while Scot­land Yard said de­tec­tives are mak­ing “fast-time” in­quiries to es­tab­lish who was re­spon­si­ble, adding that there have been no ar­rests.

The Prime Min­is­ter con­demned the “cow­ardly at­tack”, say­ing it in­volved a de­vice “clearly in­tended to cause sig­nif­i­cant harm”.

As Bri­tain faced up to an­other ter­ror­ist in­ci­dent, fol­low­ing four at­tacks al­ready this year:

The na­tion is on crit­i­cal ter­ror alert with mil­i­tary troops set to bol­ster po­lice forces as they hunt for the Par­sons Green bomber.

Images emerged on so­cial me­dia ap­pear­ing to show wires pro­trud­ing from a flam­ing bucket in­side a plas­tic car­rier bag on the floor of a car­riage.

Re­ports sug­gested the de­vice had a timer.

A to­tal of 22 pa­tients were be­ing treated in hos­pi­tal, with a num­ber of those hurt suf­fer­ing from burns.

Po­lice were called at around 8.20am yes­ter­day fol­low­ing re­ports of a fire on the District Line train as it pulled in to the sta­tion.

Emer­gency ser­vices in­clud­ing armed po­lice went to the scene and cor­doned off the sta­tion.

Syl­vain Pen­nec, a soft­ware de­vel­oper from South­fields, near Wim­ble­don, was about 10 me­tres from the source of the ex­plo­sion when fire filled the car­riage. “I heard a boom and when I looked there were flames all around,” he said.

He de­scribed the scene of panic as com­muters strug­gled to es­cape the car­riage, “col­laps­ing and push­ing” each other.

Mr Pen­nec stayed be­hind to take a closer look at what he be­lieved was the source of the ex­plo­sion. “It looked like a bucket of may­on­naise,” he said.

Chris Wild­ish, who was on the train, said he saw a “de­vice” in the last car­riage. He said: “Flames were still com­ing out of it and had a lot of wires hang­ing out of it.”

As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Mark Row­ley, the coun­try’s most se­nior counter-ter­ror­ism of­fi­cer, said “many ur­gent in­quiries” were on­go­ing.

He added: “We now as­sess this was a det­o­na­tion of an im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice.”

The in­ci­dent comes a day af­ter fig­ures showed ter­ror-re­lated ar­rests in Bri­tain have hit a new

We now as­sess this was an im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice. As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Mark Row­ley, the coun­try’s most se­nior anti-ter­ror­ism of­fi­cer.

PIC­TURES: PA WIRE.

Top, an in­jured woman is as­sisted by a po­lice of­fi­cer close to Par­sons Green un­der­ground sta­tion; above, from left, armed po­lice close to the sta­tion; a pho­to­graph taken by com­muter Syl­vain Pen­nec of the bucket – the source of the blast – on fire. TUBE AT­TACK:

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