Police treating London Underground explosion as 'terrorist incident'

Police say they are treating an explosion on the London Underground, which left 22 people hospitalized, as a “terrorist incident”.

Emergency services, including police, medics and fire officers, were called to Parsons Green underground station at 8.20 am following reports of an explosion in a carriage on the District line.

Counter Terrorism detectives are making “fast-time inquiries to establish who was responsible” for the explosion, the Metropolitan Police said.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said police believe the explosion was caused by the detonation of an improvised explosive device. He added that the investigation was being supported by officers from MI5, who were bringing their “intelligence expertise” to the case.

Rowley warned that Londoners could expect to see an increased police presence, particularly across transport systems, and urged anyone with information about the case to come forward.

NHS England said 22 people had been admitted to hospital following the incident, though none were thought to be in a serious or life-threatening condition.

Prime Minister Theresa May, who is set to chair a meeting of the British government’s Cobra emergencies committee this afternoon, said her “thoughts are with those injured at Parsons Green and emergency services who are responding so bravely to this terrorist incident.”

May also said police and security services were “doing all the work to discover the full circumstances of this cowardly attack and to identify those responsible.”

When asked about Donald Trump’s tweet alleging those who carried out the attack “were in the sights of Scotland yard” she responded: “I never think it is helpful for anyone to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation.”

Another attack in London by a loser terrorist.These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 15 septembre 2017

People have been advised to avoid the area, and services have been suspended between Edgware Road and Wimbledon.

Passengers and passersby have described scenes of panic as commuters rushed to leave the train, with some describing seeing people with burns to their faces and bodies.

Pictures reportedly taken on the train and shared on social media appear to show a plastic bag containing a white bucket on fire.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan condemned the attack.

“Our city utterly condemns the hideous individuals who attempt to use terror to harm us and destroy our way of life,” he wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “As London has proven again and again, we will never be intimidated or defeated by terrorism.”

Khan added that he was in close contact with all emergency services responding to the incident, and would attend the COBRA meeting this afternoon.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd also thanked the emergency services and said her thoughts are with the victims.

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