World

22 hurt in London train bomb attack

Bucket with cables found after 'wall of fire'

LONDON: At least 22 people were injured when a bomb detonated on a packed London Underground train during the morning rush hour yesterday.

Witnesses reported seeing a "wall of fire" and passengers with facial burns and hair coming off at Parsons Green station in west London after the explosion on the train.

"At 8.20 this morning at Parsons Green station, there was an explosion on a Tube train. We now assess that this was a detonation of an improvised explosive device," police counter-terror chief Mark Rowley said.

He said most of the injuries were due to "flash burns", while others were wounded by the stampede as passengers ran out of the station in panic.

Twitter user Rrigs, who posted pictures of a white bucket smouldering on the train, said: "Explosion on Parsons Green District Line train. Fireball flew down carriage, and we just jumped out open door".

The bucket looked like the type used by builders, and there appeared to be cables coming out of it.

Mr Charlie Craven, who was on his way to the station, said he heard a "massive bang".

"I saw an orange sort of fireball encompassing the whole Tube coming towards you," he said, describing it also as "a wall of fire".

The National Health Service said 18 people were taken by ambulance to hospital, while four others made their own way to hospitals.

The London Ambulance Service said none of the victims "are thought to be in a serious or life-threatening condition".

The MI5 intelligence service is assisting investigators.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said her thoughts were with the injured and that emergency services had responded "swiftly and bravely".

She was scheduled to chair an emergency cabinet meeting later in the day.

In the US, President Donald Trump used the attack to renew calls for his controversial travel ban. The ban on travellers from several predominantly Muslim countries is the subject of fierce legal battles in the US but has partially gone into effect.

"The travel ban into the US should be far larger, tougher and more specific - but stupidly, that would not be politically correct," Mr Trump tweeted.

"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 incident is the fifth terror attack in six months in Britain since March, when a lone attacker mowed down pedestrians and stabbed a police officer outside the British parliament.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan urged Londoners to remain "calm and vigilant".

"As London has proven again and again, we will never be intimidated or defeated by terrorism," he said. - AFP

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