London manhunt underway after bomb explosion in subway, the 5th terror attack in Britain this year

London manhunt underway after bomb explosion in subway, the 5th terror attack in Britain this year

Overview

A manhunt is underway in London after a bucket bomb exploded on a crowded subway train during rush hour Friday morning, sending a fireball through the passenger car and leaving at least 22 people hospitalized. British authorities are treating the blast as a terror attack.

“This is a live investigation,” Assistant Commissioner for London’s Metropolitan Police Service, Mark Rowley, said after the explosion occurred in the Parsons Green tube station just after 8 a.m. local time.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said after an emergency cabinet meeting that the nation’s threat level is at “severe.” The public should remain vigilant, she said.

A British government official said the incident is being treated as a terror attack but so far it appears to be an isolated incident.

Eyewitnesses told ABC News that the blast happened as the train pulled into the station in the affluent, mainly residential area of West London.

“I heard a loud bang and as I looked to my right, there was a flame, a fireball came through the carriage … As the doors opened, people then began leaving the train straight away,” said Martin Adams, who was riding in the subway car at the time. “I saw some flames coming from what I thought was a blue bag.”

“I saw a couple people with burns. One lady had her hair badly singed by the fire,” said Sally Faulding, who witnessed the panic on the subway platform. “I also saw people injured obviously from having been stampeded on the platform because we were all running. People were falling over.”

 

PHOTO: A fire raises at a southwest London subway station in London, Sept. 15, 2017.

A fire raises at a southwest London subway station in London, Sept. 15, 2017.

The London Ambulance Service said it transported 22 people to area hospitals, but none of the injuries were serious or life-threatening. The London Ambulance said it responded to the scene at Parsons Green with multiple resources, including ambulance crews, incident response officers and its hazardous response team.

“There were no casualties at all on the train. Everybody appeared to get off,” Adams told ABC News. “There was nobody laying on the platform floor. I assessed that there were no serious casualties at that time.”

Police said the improvised explosive device on the train did not fully explode. No arrests have been made at this time.

PHOTO: Burning items at the scene of an explosion in London, Sept. 15, 2017.

Burning items at the scene of an explosion in London, Sept. 15, 2017.