Explosion at London Underground station declared as 'terrorist incident', 22 people injured

Police and ambulance services said they were responding to an "incident" at an Underground station in west London on Friday, following media reports of an explosion.

Published: 15th September 2017 01:41 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th September 2017 08:37 PM   |  A+A-

Photo | Twitter/ London fire brigade

By AFP

LONDON: 22 people were injured following a terror attack on a London Underground train on Friday, the London Ambulance Service said.

As Emergency services are responding to the explosion at Parsons Green Tube station, the Metropolitan Counter terrorism Command declared it as a "terrorist incident."

WATCH | Blast reported on London underground train, passengers suffer facial burns

"We are aware of an incident at Parsons Green tube station. Officers are in attendance," London's Metropolitan Police said on Twitter.

The station was closed, as well as an entire section of the District Line where it is located.

A Metro.co.uk reporter at the scene was quoted by the paper as saying that a white container exploded on the train and passengers had suffered facial burns.

She said they were "really badly burned" and their "hair was coming off".

Twitter user @Rrigs posted pictures of a white bucket smouldering on a train.

Richard Aylmer-Hall, 52, a media technology consultant, described "panic" on the train.

"There was panic, lots of people shouting, screaming, lots of screaming," he told the Press Association.

"There was a woman on the platform who said she had seen a bag, a flash and a bang, so obviously something had gone off," he said.

"I saw two women being treated by ambulance crews," he said.

BBC correspondent Riz Lateef, who was at the station travelling to work, said there was "panic as people rushed from the train, hearing what appeared to be an explosion.

WATCH | Images from Parsons Green Tube station after the explosion

"People were left with cuts and grazes from trying to flee the scene. There was lots of panic."

Natasha Wills, assistant director of operations at London Ambulance Service said in a statement: "Our initial priority is to assess the level and nature of injuries".

She said the ambulance service had sent "multiple resources" to the station, including a hazardous area response team.

London Fire Brigade said they were also at the scene and were called at 8:21 am (0721 GMT).

Not the first attack this year

London has been struck repeatedly by extremist attacks this year, and the risk of new attack is considered high.

The London Underground has been targeted several times, notably in July 2005, when suicide bombers blew themselves up on three subway trains and a bus, killing 52 people and themselves. Four more bombers tried a similar attack two weeks later, but their devices failed to fully explode.

Last year Damon Smith, a student with an interest in weapons and Islamic extremism, left a knapsack filled with explosives and ball bearings on a London subway train. It failed to explode.

In its recent Inspire magazine, al-Qaida urged supporters to target trains.

'Covered in blood'

Passengers described chaotic scenes at the station in a leafy and normally quiet part of west London.

"There was panic, lots of people shouting, screaming, lots of screaming," Richard Aylmer-Hall, 52, a media technology consultant, told the Press Association.

"There was a woman on the platform who said she had seen a bag, a flash and a bang, so obviously something had gone off," he said, adding that "some people got pushed over and trampled on.

"I saw two women being treated by ambulance crews," he said.

BBC correspondent Riz Lateef, who was on her way to work, said: "People were left with cuts and grazes from trying to flee the scene. There was lots of panic."

One passenger, named only as Lucas, told BBC 5 Live radio: "I heard a really loud explosion".

"I saw people with minor injuries, burnings to the face, arms, legs, multiple casualties," he said.

Another witness, Sham, told the radio station he had seen a man with blood all over his face.

"There were a lot of people limping and covered in blood," he said.

Nicole Linnell, 29, who works for a fashion label, said: "We saw people running down the tracks. About 30 or 40 people.

"They were running down the tracks outside our train," she told the Press Association.

"It was absolutely terrifying".

Natasha Wills, assistant director of operations at London Ambulance Service said: "Our initial priority is to assess the level and nature of injuries".

She said the ambulance service had sent "multiple resources" to the station, including a hazardous area response team.

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UK PM says thoughts with those injured in London Underground station attack

US President Trump blasts 'loser terrorists' behind London train attack

IN PICTURES | Parsons Green Tube station in London after the blast

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