LONDON ― At least 22 people were injured after a bomb exploded in a West London Underground station during rush hour on Friday, causing a fire inside a train and a stampede of panicking commuters.
The blast at the Parsons Green Tube stop was caused by an improvised explosive device, Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Rowley said. Police said they were investigating the incident as terrorism.
London residents shared photos of the area, with one post showing a bag on fire inside a train car. Several witnesses reported seeing injuries, and a Metro reporter said some people were badly burned. A BBC journalist said she saw a woman taken in ambulance with burns “top to toe.”
One traveler, Sylvain Pennec, told The Guardian, “I heard a boom, and when I looked, there were flames all around.”
Police, firefighters and medical services arrived at the station minutes after the incident was reported around 8:20 a.m. local time. The London Ambulance Service said 19 people were taken to the hospital, most with burns, but that none appeared to be in serious or life-threatening condition. Three others went to the hospital voluntarily, health officials said.
Witnesses described a stampede of people rushing off the train.
“All of this happened within 15 seconds,” Olaniyi Shokunbia told HuffPost. “It’s just crazy … [I] saw masses of people running, so I started running myself … we’re running down stairways, I see people jumping into people … not caring if they break their bones. I’ve never seen such a thing in my life.”
Emma Steventon, 27, who lives in Parsons Green, told HuffPost UK she heard “lots of screaming” and was told to run, but didn’t know why.
“Everyone just got crushed on the stairs, it was like a human pile-on, stampede, it was horrendous,” she said. “I had a lady underneath me shouting that she was pregnant and the pressure of more and more people falling on top because we couldn’t get down the stairs quickly enough.
“This poor little boy had his face smashed in and he was screaming,” she added. “It was just like, just hold on, just try and breathe, try not to break anything, it was awful.”
Firefighters later led passengers off the train tracks, according to The Associated Press.
Tim and Karalyne Hyde told HuffPost that they were staying at their daughters’ nearby apartment when they saw, out the window, “tons of people running panicked past the flat … disorderly, chaotic people were confused…