At least 18 people have been injured after a small explosion on board a train at the Parsons Green subway station in west London, officials and witnesses say. It is being treated as an act of terrorism.
The incident happened at about 8:20 a.m. local time on Friday when emergency services were called to reports of a fire or explosion on board a train. Passengers said a small explosion had occurred and footage from the scene showed a damaged, white bucket with wires sticking out.
The blast, which occurred in the back of the train and filled several carriages with smoke, caused relatively little damage to the train. Several terrorism experts said footage from the scene indicated that the bomb may have failed to fully detonate.
The London Ambulance Service said a total of 18 people were taken to area hospitals, but none of them are believed to have suffered serious or life-threatening injuries. Some of the injuries may have occurred when passengers tried to flee in panic, witnesses said.
A large number of emergency services, including heavily-armed police officers, multiple ambulances, and dozens of firefighters responded to the scene of the blast. The Parsons Green tube station was immediately evacuated and closed.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the senior national coordinator for counter-terrorism policing, declared the blast a ” terrorist incident.” He did not say whether any suspects had been taken into custody and there was no immediate claim of responsibility.
“We urge the public to remain calm but alert and if you have any concerns, see or hear anything suspicious then contact police,” the Metropolitan Police Service said in a statement. It asked anyone with information to contact authorities.
As a result of the attack, British Prime Minister Theresa May will convene an emergency Cobra meeting at 1 p.m. “My thoughts are with those injured at Parsons Green and emergency services who are responding bravely to this terrorist incident,” she said.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, in a separate statement, said the city “will never be intimidated or defeated” by terrorism. “Our city utterly condemns the hideous individuals who attempt to use terror to harm us and destroy our way of life,” he said.
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