NEWS… BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT
A manhunt is underway for the bucket bomber who is on the loose after injuring 29 people in an explosion on a Tube train this morning.
The improvised explosive device went off at around 8.15am, causing a huge fireball that left many people with flash burn injuries.
Police say they know the identity of the attacker after declaring it a terrorist incident and are reviewing CCTV from several Tube stations to track him down.
Thankfully none of the injuries are said to be life-threatening from the homemade device which only partially detonated, however some of the victims are said to be children.
This afternoon officers evacuated an area around Parsons Green so that they could deal with the remnants of the device.
Images from the scene show wires coming out of a white bucket on fire inside an insulated Lidl bag towards the rear of the train.
Kensington Prep School was evacuated this morning because it was inside the cordon set up by police.
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Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, senior national coordinator for counter terrorism, this morning declared a terrorist incident.
A metro.co.uk reporter was at the scene and described seeing people who were ‘really, really badly burned’ and that ‘their hair was coming off.’
At the station there was panic and a stampede led to a crush in a stairwell with some people being injured.
The explosion happened as the train pulled into the station at Parsons Green and people ran from the train as soon as the doors opened.
A major incident has been declared at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington in response to the Parsons Green explosion.
BBC News presenter Sophie Raworth, who was at the scene, said she saw a woman on a stretcher with burns to her face and legs.
British Transport Police are asking anyone with images of the Parsons Green terror incident to upload them to their image appeal website.
‘I spoke to a woman, Laura Bishop, who said she was standing there and all of a sudden heard a bang – and saw a wall of flames, flames in the carriage,’ she said.
‘She saw people who had burns on their hair, burns on their head and the doors opened immediately.’
Ms Raworth added: ‘I have just seen a woman who was just stretchered off here and clearly her legs are wrapped up and she has burns.
‘She had burns to her face – she’s conscious, she was taking oxygen and pain relief as well.
‘She seemed to have burns all over her body from top to toe.’
Olaniyi Shokunbi, 24, boarded the train the bomb had been planted on at Putney Bridge and had been listening to music when he saw people scrambling off the train.
He said: ‘I thought the train was leaving Parsons Green but then I saw lots of people running up. My first instinct was to get out of the train myself.
‘It’s a small station. There’s only two exits and a lot of people were struggling over each other. Some people just jumped over.
‘I thought it was an acid attack. It was early morning and people were drinking coffee and I felt some [liquid] on me and I thought ‘that better not go on my face’.’
Mr Shokunbi, a fitness instructor, said he had seen people lying on the floor covered in blood.
He said: ‘There were people on the floor, there was a little boy, I really felt sorry for him, he couldn’t have been more than 11.
‘He had scratches on his head, he was looking for his little brother. I was going to go back into the train station but a woman said ‘don’t go back in there, there’s people on the floor’.’
He added: ‘There was a woman on the floor. She couldn’t breathe. People were screaming and crying.’
One woman described how she had hurt her legs and had seen a large flame fill the carriage and another woman had ash in her hair.
Others went to nearby coffee shops before they were told to leave so that injured people could be treated.
People quickly started saying that a bomb had gone off, sparking panic.
Initially people were told they could not leave the station before an evacuation took place.
Media technology consultant Richard Aylmer-Hall, 53, was sitting on the District Line train bound for central London when panic unfolded at around 8.20am.
He said he saw several people injured, having apparently been trampled as they tried to escape.
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He told the Press Association: ‘I was blissfully reading my paper and listening to a podcast and suddenly the whole world charged past me down the platform, down the Tube.
‘I was on the Tube, we had just stopped at Parsons Green, I was on my way up from Wimbledon towards Paddington and suddenly there was panic, lots of people shouting, screaming, lots of screaming.
‘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.
‘It was an absolutely packed, rush-hour District Line train from Wimbledon to Edgware Road.
‘I saw crying women, there was lots of shouting and screaming, there was a bit of a crush on the stairs going down to the streets.
‘Some people got pushed over and trampled on, I saw two women being treated by ambulance crews.
‘Since then, every emergency vehicle in London has gone past me, fire engines, ambulances, every type of police vehicle.’
Mr Aylmer-Hall added: ‘I don’t think anyone was hurt by the actual device or whatever it was.’
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: ‘The Metropolitan Police have confirmed that the explosion on a train at Parsons Green Station this morning is being treated as terrorism.
‘Our city utterly condemns the hideous individuals who attempt to use terror to harm us and destroy our way of life.
‘As London has proven again and again, we will never be intimidated or defeated by terrorism.
‘I am in close contact with the Metropolitan Police Service, Transport for London, Government and other emergency services who are responding at the scene and leading the investigation.
‘I will be attending the emergency COBRA meeting in Whitehall this afternoon with the Prime Minister.
‘My sincere gratitude goes to all our courageous emergency responders and the Transport for London staff who were first on the scene.
‘I urge all Londoners to remain calm and vigilant, and to check Transport for London’s website for travel advice.’
Natasha Wills, of London Ambulance Service said: ‘We were called at 8.20am to reports of an incident at Parsons Green underground station.
‘We have sent multiple resources to the scene including single responders in cars, ambulance crews, incident response officers and our hazardous area response team, with the first of our medics arriving in under five minutes.
‘Our initial priority is to assess the level and nature of injuries. More information will follow when we have it.’
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.
‘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: ‘I heard a really loud explosion – when I looked back there appeared to be a bag but I don’t know if it’s associated with it.
‘I saw people with minor injuries, burnings to the face, arms, legs, multiple casualties in that way. People were helping each other.’
Transport for London said Tube services were suspended between Edgware Road and Wimbledon.
In a statement, Scotland Yard said: ‘Police were called at approximately 8.20am to Parsons Green Underground Station following reports of an incident on a Tube train.
‘Officers from the Metropolitan Police Service and British Transport Police are in attendance along with the London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service.
‘We would advise people to avoid the area.’
Another witness, Sham, said he saw a man with blood all over his face.
‘There were loads of people crying and shaking,’ he told 5 live. ‘There were a lot of people limping and covered in blood. One guy I saw, his face was covered in blood – I’ve never seen anything like it.’
British Transport Police said: ‘We’re aware of an incident at Parsons Green station. Officers are at the scene. The station is closed.’
Transport for London said it is ‘investigating an incident at Parsons Green’ and urged customers travelling between Wimbledon and Earls Court to use alternative routes.
A London Ambulance Service spokesman said: ‘We are on scene alongside the Metropolitan Police at Parsons Green.’
London Fire Brigade said they were called to the incident at 8.21am on Friday.
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