A rush-hour fire on a London subway is being treated by police as an act of terrorism.
Authorities reported more than a dozen injured in the Parsons Green Tube station in southwest London.
— Sylvain Pennec (@sylvainpennec) September 15, 2017
None of the injuries were life-threatening, local media reported.
From NBC News:
Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the senior national coordinator for counterterrorism policing, said the blaze was being treated as a “terrorist incident.” Investigators were examining the remains of an improvised explosive device.
One photo shared on social media showed a bucket on fire. Wires appeared to be protruding from the supermarket plastic bag the container had been carried in. The photos do not appear to show extensive damage to the inside of the train.
The Twitter user who posted the image — @rrigs — said he believed the bucket was linked to the incident. He added that an “explosion” occurred and a “fireball flew down carriage and we just jumped out open door.”
Luke Walmsley, 33, who was six train cars up from the fire described “complete pandemonium, complete terror” aboard the train.
“We heard the first scream and we saw a flash and smoke and people started running immediately,” he told NBC News. “Everyone was doing the 100-meter sprint at the same time. The girl I was sat next to fell to the floor, she got trampled on and flattened. There were lots of kids and lots of nannies and moms trying to work out where their kids were.”
Walmsley said that several people suffered “severe brown burns” to their heads. “It was a really acrid burning smell that came up the carriage,” he added.
Pennec told The Guardian that he “heard a boom and when I looked there were flames all around” just before the train pulled into Parsons Green station, which is located above ground on the District line.
London’s Metropolitan Police ordered commuters and residents to avoid the area. A cordon was set up around 500 yards from the station.