Police have launched a terrorism investigation after an explosion on a Tube train at Parsons Green station on Friday morning.
The blast sent a “shot of flames” through the packed rush hour train, injuring 29 people.
Commuters described mass panic as people fled from the train and platform out of the south west London station.
Isis claimed responsibility for the attack as Prime Minister Theresa May raised the national terror threat to “critical”, meaning another attack could be expected imminently.
What has transpired so far
•The blast happened at 8.20am on Friday on a train at Parsons Green station, on the District line route between Earl’s Court and Wimbledon in south west London.
•Witnesses said the Tube train had pulled into the station and the doors had just opened when the explosion went off in the last carriage. Passengers described a “heat wave” and “wall of flame” which was sent through the carriage.
•The British Transport Police, Met armed police and officers, firefighters and paramedics from the London Ambulance Service attended. Six London Fire Brigade crews and 50 firefighters were sent to the scene within three minutes. The first ambulance crew arrived within five minutes.
•Around two hours after the suspected attack, Scotland Yard declared it a terrorist incident. A counter-terror investigation was launched.
•The Met confirmed the blast was an “improvised explosive device” which had been detonated. Photos on social media show what appears to be a bucket, wrapped in a Lidl carrier bag, with wires protruding from it.
•29 people in total were injured. Nineteen people were taken to hospital by paramedics and the others arrived at hospital themselves. Eight people were discharged from hospital at around 4.30pm.
•Police said most of the injuries are believed to be flash burns. None of those injured are thought to be in a serious or life-threatening condition. The injured are in hospitals across London including Imperial, Chelsea and Westminster, Guy’s and St Thomas’ and a Parsons Green urgent care centre.
•Officers said they are working with intelligence agency MI5.
•The suspect believed to be behind the blast has not yet been found and no arrests have been made.
The District line was suspended between Wimbledon and Edgware Road.
•Firefighters also helped evacuate 253 people from a train which was not involved in the explosion, but which had been stopped on tracks nearby.
•Prime Minister Theresa May chaired an emergency Cobra meeting later on Friday. She said: “My thoughts are with those injured at Parsons Green and the emergency services who, once again, are responding swiftly and bravely to a suspected terrorist incident.”
•The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, also joined intelligence and security officials for the Cobra meeting. In a statement he said: “Our city utterly condemns the hideous individuals who attempt to use terror to harm us and destroy our way of life. As London has proven again and again, we will never be intimidated or defeated by terrorism.
•The Met Police and Theresa May has responded to a tweet by President Donald Trump, rebuking his speculation. The US leader said: “Another attack in London by a loser terrorist. These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard.” The PM said: “I never think it’s helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation.” The Met said his comments were “unhelpful” and “pure speculation”.
•Police cordoned off and evacuated an area of 50 metres in radius around Parsons Green station, including residents’ homes while officers secure the DIY explosive device. That cordon was lifted on Friday evening.
•The remnants of the improvised explosive device responsible for the blast have been made safe and taken away for forensic examination.
•ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.
•It has been reported that the bombing was the work of a “detachment” of ISIS, rather than a “soldier” acting alone.
•On Friday evening, the Prime Minister May raised Britain’s terror threat level to critical, the highest possible stage, meaning another attack could be expected imminently. She and Mark Rowley, the Assistant Commissioner of the Metroplitan Police Sevice, both announced military personnel would be deployed to support the police.
•Rowley said that “excellent progress” had been made in a “very complex” police investigation involving trawling through CCTV footage, speaking to tens of witnesses and taking a number of calls from members of the public.
© Evening Standard