Officials: 18 hurt in London train “terrorist incident”

An injured woman is assisted by a police officer close to Parsons Green station in west London after an explosion on a packed London Underground train, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. London’s Metropolitan Police says a fire on the London subway has been declared a “terrorist incident.” (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) — Police say the fire on a London subway train was caused by the detonation of an improvised explosive device.

Police say it was a terrorist incident and is being handled by the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism unit.

Police said there were 18 people injured, with most suffering flash burns.

An ambulance service says none of the injuries is thought to be serious or life-threatening.

There will be an increased police presence on London as the incident is investigated.

Police did not provide details on any suspects.

Passengers reported seeing people with burns to their faces and bodies after the fire on a Tube train at Parsons Green station.

British Prime Minister Theresa May will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency committee in response to a subway fire that police have called a terrorist incident.

May tweeted Friday: “My thoughts are with those injured at Parsons Green and emergency services who are responding bravely to this terrorist incident.”

U.S. President Donald Trump is calling a fire at a London subway station another attack “by a loser terrorist” and suggesting police there may have missed an opportunity to prevent it. He also is suggesting that the government cut off internet access to extremist groups.

Trump tweeted Friday: “Another attack in London by a loser terrorist. These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!”

He later added: “Loser terrorists must be dealt with in a much tougher manner. The internet is their main recruitment tool which we must cut off & use better!”

The London Ambulance Service says 18 people have been taken to hospitals with injuries, not thought to be life-threatening

Sadiq Khan says the city “utterly condemns the hideous individuals who attempt to use terror to harm us and destroy our way of life.”

He says Londoners should remain “calm and vigilant” after a fire on a subway train that police are calling a terrorism incident.

London has been targeted by attackers several times this year, with vehicle attacks near Parliament, on London Bridge and near a mosque in Finsbury Park in north London.

Khan says he will be attending a meeting of the government’s COBRA emergency committee with Prime Minister Theresa May later.

Wildish told Sky News that many of the passengers were schoolchildren, who were knocked around by people trying to get away from the fire.

Wildish said he saw several burned passengers and later, during evacuation of the station, caught sight of a bucket still in flames.

Footage filmed from the platform through the train door as people were evacuated shows flames licking from the bucket, which is inside a plastic shopping bag. “That bag’s on fire,” a woman exclaims, before a London Underground staff member orders commuters to get away from the carriage to the end of the platform.

 

Britain’s official threat level from terrorism stands at “severe,” the second-highest rung on a five-point scale, meaning an attack is highly likely.

A commuter whose train had just left the Parsons Green station in southwest London says there was panic after a woman on the platform saw what appeared to be an explosion. Richard Aylmer-Hall said he saw several people injured, apparently trampled as they fled.

“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. “Some people got pushed over and trampled on, I saw two women being treated by ambulance crews.” He said he did not believe anyone was hurt by the actual device.

The incident happened during rush hour when the Underground system is crowded. Passengers were advised to use alternate routes.

London Fire Brigade said they were called to the scene at 8:21 a.m. Friday. The London Ambulance Service said it was working with police on the scene.

WDTN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s