Improvised ‘terrorist’ bomb on packed London commuter train injures 22
LONDON – Reuters
REUTERS photoA homemade bomb on a packed rush-hour commuter train in London engulfed a carriage in flames and injured 22 people on Sept. 15 in what police said was Britain’s fifth terrorism incident this year, but apparently failed to fully explode.
Passengers on board a train heading into the capital fled in panic as the fire erupted at Parsons Green underground station in West London at 8:20 a.m.
Some suffered burns while others were injured in a stampede to escape. The National Health Service said 22 people had been taken to London hospitals, most believed to be suffering flash burns. None were thought to be in a serious condition, the ambulance service said.
“We now assess that this was a detonation of an improvised explosive device,” Britain’s top counter-terrorism officer Mark Rowley told reporters.
Police said officers were making urgent inquiries involving hundreds of detectives backed by the intelligence services to find out who was responsible.
Rowley declined to say if the suspected bomber had been on the train, saying it was a live investigation.
Pictures taken at the scene showed a slightly-charred white bucket with a supermarket freezer bag on the floor of one train carriage. The bucket, still intact, 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, told Reuters.
“There were phones, hats, bags all over the place and when I looked back I saw a bag with flames.”
Prime Minister Theresa May returned to London to chair a meeting of Britain’s emergency response committee.
“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.