The explosion devastated the District Line Tube train at Parsons Green station in west London
An explosion ripped through a packed commuter Tube train at Parsons Green, London, yesterday morning.
At least 29 people have been treated in hospital for burns and other injuries in the wake of the attack.
The explosion devastated the District Line Tube train at Parsons Green station, in west London.
Police scrambled terror specialists to the scene and have launched an immediate investigation.
London’s Met Police have confirmed they are treating the incident as a terror attack.
Prime Minister Theresa May has revealed the terror threat in London has been raised to critical, the most severe category, in response to the explosion.
Eye-witnesses said victims suffered facial injuries after a what appeared to be a homemade bomb in a Lidl bag exploded.
Is London safe? Travel update after Parsons Green tube explosion terror attack
One witness said there were “lots” of people injured after the explosion and a subsequent stampede. Another said a “fireball flew down the carriage”.
A photo shared on social media appears to show the object which exploded on the train this morning. It appears to be a white bucket contained in a Lidl bag.
The photo showed the container still burning with passengers’ bags scattered across the carriage.
Police are yet to confirm what caused the explosion, but a heavy security presence is trawling the area.
Is London safe?
London’s Met Police have confirmed the Tube explosion is being treated as an act of terrorism.
The current terror threat in the UK has been raised from severe to critical in response to the incident.
It was briefly raised to the highest level, critical, in the wake of UK terror attacks earlier this year.
This is the fourth time that the assessment has been placed at the highest level in the past 11 years.
Mrs May also said military personnel will replace police officers on guard duties, and warned the public would see a greater presence of armed police on the streets.
Is London safe? Parsons Green Tube station was cordoned off as police investigated the explosion
Theresa May said: “The joint terrorism and analysis centre, the independent organisation responsible for setting the threat level on the basis of available intelligence has now decided to raise it from severe to critical.
“This means that a further attack may be imminent. Following JTAC decision, the police have asked for authorisation from the Secretary of Defence to enact part of the first phase of Operation Tempera.
“This is well established plan to derive military support to the police.
“Military personnel are going to replace police officers on guard duty at certain protected sights that are accessible to the public.
“The public will see more armed police officers on the transport network and on our streets providing extra protection and this is a proportionate and sensible step which will provide extra reassurances and protection while the investigation progresses.”
Previously police have appealed to the public for help in detecting any security threats.
The Met Police said: “We need the help and support of individuals, businesses and communities across London to remain alert and maintain the safety and security of those places in which we live, work and socialise.
“Crowded places, events, public transport, and iconic locations are some examples of locations that could be potential targets for terrorists. All of these are to be found in London.
“You are familiar with your workplace and surrounding area, so you’re ideally placed to spot when something is amiss. In this period of heightened alert, it is vital to remain vigilant, trust your instincts and report possible terrorist activity to the police.
Is London safe? A bomb was concealed in a Lidl bag on the District Line Tube
The public are urged to look out for anything suspicious and report it immediately.
- They ask people to look for anything that seems out of the ordinary, such as:
- People in stationary vehicles watching a building or structure
- Vehicles moving slowly near public buildings, structures or bridges, or parked in suspicious circumstances
- People using recording equipment, including camera phones, or seen making notes or sketches of security details
- Someone suspicious paying close attention to specific entry and exit points, stairwells, hallways or fire escapes
- People loitering at or near premises for long periods and watching staff, visitors and deliveries for no apparent reason
- People asking detailed or unusual questions about buildings and business operations, facilities (such as room layouts), security or parking for no apparent reason
- Challenge those in offices and ‘off limits’ areas, plant rooms and similar – report matters immediately to your security manager or dial 999.
- Members of the public should always remain alert to the danger of terrorism and report any suspicious activity to the police on 999 or the anti-terrorist hotline: 0800 789 321