Live updates: London train bombing a terrorist attack, say police

An injured woman reacts outside Parsons Green tube station in London, Britain September 15, 2017. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Official sources are remaining cautious about the “incident” on a train at around 8.20 a.m. local time at Parsons Green, a tube station in South West London.

London - Emergency services said they were responding to an "incident" in which people were injured at an Underground station in west London on September 15, following media reports of an explosion. "We are aware of an incident at Parsons Green tube station. Officers are in attendance," London's Metropolitan Police said on Twitter. The station was closed, as well as an entire section of the District Line where it is located. A reporter at the scene was quoted by the paper as saying that a white container exploded on the train and passengers had suffered facial burns. She said they were "really badly burned" and their "hair was coming off".
Live updates (in IST):

3.00 pm: Police have confirmed that there was fire on London Tube train in which a number of people have been injured, according to AP.

2.50 pm: Metropolitan police have confirmed it is a terrorist incident, reports Vidya Ram from London. Counter terrorism command are investigating. 

2.40 pm: London firefighters are leading passengers off a train along elevated subway tracks near where a reported explosion sent commuters fleeing in panic, reports AP. Video from the scene showed people picking their way along the tracks.

Photos taken inside the District Line train show a white plastic bucket inside a supermarket shopping bag. Flames and what appear to be wires can be seen. Witnesses said commuters fled the station in a panic. London ambulance services said they had sent multiple crews to the scene, and police advised people to avoid the area.

2.30 pm: Reuters reports that British Prime Minister Theresa May is “receiving regular updates” on the "incident at at tube station in west London". British counter-terrorism officers are now on the scene, the agency added.

British Foreign Secretary and former London mayor Boris Johnson appealed for calm. "I'm afraid my information is limited and it really is important not to speculate at the moment," AFP reports him speaking to Sky News.

"Obviously, everybody should keep calm and go about their lives in a normal way, as normal as they possibly can," he said.

2.20 pm: AFP reports quoting eyewitnesses:

Richard Aylmer-Hall, 52, a media technology consultant, described "panic" on the train. "There was panic, lots of people shouting, screaming, lots of screaming," he told the Press Association. "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. "I saw two women being treated by ambulance crews," he said.

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."

Natasha Wills, assistant director of operations at London Ambulance Service said in a statement: "Our initial priority is to assess the level and nature of injuries". She said the ambulance service had sent "multiple resources" to the station, including a hazardous area response team.

2.15 pm: Vidya ram reports: Official sources tell BBC that counter-terror officers are on the scene too though we are yet to have confirmation of the nature of the attack.

2.10 pm: A commuter whose train had just left the Parsons Green station 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 London ambulance service said multiple crews had been dispatched.

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

AFP reports that a Twitter user @RRigs posted pictures of a white bucket smouldering on a train.
2.05 pm: Our London Correspondent Vidya Ram reports: Official sources are remaining cautious, about the “incident” on a train at around 8.20 a.m. local time at Parsons Green, a tube station in South West London. The Metropolitan Police said the would release facts when they could “our info must be accurate.” Armed police are on the scene with other emergency services.

London Ambulance Service has deployed a hazardous area response team and ambulance crews, with the first medics arriving within five minutes of the incident being reported. The Fire Brigade has around 50 firefighters and specialists officers on the scene after getting the call at 8.21 a.m. in the morning at the height of rush hour.

A photograph has emerged of a white container with a shopping bag on fire on a tube train. A reporter for the London daily tabloid Metro who was on the scene when the incident occurred spoke of seeing people with facial burns, while ambulances have begun to take injured passengers away from the scene.

2 pm: London Fire Brigade says six fire engines, two fire rescue units and around 50 firefighters and specialist officers are currently attending the “incident” at Parsons Green Tube station. The Brigade was called at 8.21 a.m. and fire crews from Fulham, Wandsworth, Chelsea, Hammersmith and other surrounding fire stations are in attendance, the Brigade said on its website.

1.55 pm: British Police advise people to avoid the area around Parsons Green after reports of explosion, Reuters reports. The Metropolitan Police tweeted that they were called at around 8.20 a.m. local time to Parsons Green following reports of an incident on a tube train.

1.45 pm: Transport for London said on Twitter that there was no service between Earls Court and Wimbledon on the District Line which runs through Parsons Green.

London Ambulance Service has sent hazardous area response team to Parsons Green, priority to assess level and nature of injuries, reports Reuters.

1.40 pm: Images posted on Twitter showed a woman being attended to by emergency services sitting on a pavement.

Police say they are aware of reports on social media and will release facts regarding the incident once they could be sure of their accuracy.

With inputs from agencies

Source - The Hindu

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