An explosion on a London Underground train that injured 18 people on Friday was caused by an “improvised explosive device”, police said.
“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 told reporters.
The Metropolitan Police said on Friday that they were investigating a “terrorist incident’’ at the Parsons Green underground station in west London.
“The Met’s Counter Terrorism Command are investigating after the incident at #ParsonsGreen tube station is declared a terrorist incident,” police wrote on Twitter.
Police said, however, that it was “too early to confirm the cause of the fire.’’
The station has been cordoned off and train services have been suspended after the incident, which happened during rush hour.
Police, ambulance and fire services rushed to the scene.London Ambulance Service said they were called in at 8:20 a.m. (0720 GMT).
“We have sent multiple resources to the scene including single responders in cars, ambulance crews, incident response officers and our hazardous area response team,” it said in a statement.
One passenger, who gave his name 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 did not know if it’s associated with the explosion.
“I saw people with minor injuries, burns to the face, arms, legs, multiple casualties in that way.People were helping each other,” he said.
London’s Metropolitan Police confirmed that they had received an emergency call this morning.
“Police were called at approximately 8:20 a.m. to #ParsonsGreen following reports of an incident on a tube train,” they wrote on Twitter.
“We would advise people to avoid the area,” they added.
“Our initial priority is to assess the level and nature of injuries,” it continued, saying that more information would follow when they had it.
London Fire Brigade said that six fire engines, two fire rescue units and around 50 firefighters and specialist officers were in attendance at Parsons Green.
Transport for London said that services on the District line, which runs through the station, had been suspended and advised passengers to “re-plan their journeys’.’
The BBC had reported that there had been an “explosion” on a Tube train. (dpa/NAN)