London: British police said on Friday that they were treating a blast on an underground train at Parsons Green tube station in west London as a ‘terrorist incident".
Passengers were seen "badly burned" following the explosion. Witnesses reported seeing passengers who had suffered facial burns and had hair coming off, with at least two women seen being treated by medics amid scenes of panic during rush hour.
A witness said six ambulances, fire engines and a helicopter were at Parsons Green station, where the Metro newspaper reported that some passengers had also been hurt in a subsequent stampede.
The station was closed, as well as an entire section of the District Line where it is located.
A Metro.co.uk reporter at the scene was quoted by the paper as saying that a white container exploded on the train. The bucket looked like the type used by builders and there appeared to be cables coming out of it.
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… 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."
An eyewitness told Reuters that flames engulfed one carriage and raced along the train enroute to Parsons Green, forcing passengers to trample others as they rushed for an exit.
The man said people were trampled on when they fled the train after hearing a whoosh and seeing flames race towards them. He said he did not hear a bang after police rushed to an incident at the station at Parsons Green.
.@metpoliceuk have confirmed that the explosion on a train at Parsons Green Station is being treated as terrorism. https://t.co/dKZCcjEZjT pic.twitter.com/fFzOf6wNXu— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) September 15, 2017
Outside the station, a woman was sitting on a pavement with a bandage around her leg while armed police patrolled. A Reuters witness saw a woman being carried off on a stretcher with her legs covered in a foil blanket.
Britain has already suffered four attacks blamed on terrorists so far this year which killed 36 people.