Police investigating rush hour ‘explosion’ at Parsons Green tube station

Commuters on the District Line at Parsons Green fled in terror after a blast in a bucket shortly after 8am this morning.

There were reports of widespread panic after the explosion, with one eyewitness describing the scene as ‘total chaotic panic’.

Eyewitnesses reported that emergency services are treating two different types of injury at the scene, with some suffering facial burns and others trampled in the chaos that followed.

The blast in the carriage of the District Line tube has left a number of commuters with with facial burns.

“One of my friends was in the station and she called me about three minutes after it happened and she was just crying,” said Holly Leslie, 19, who lives five minutes from Parsons Green.

“It was just chaos apparently in the station, I couldn’t really hear what she was saying.”

Passer-by Richard Elmaholl, a media technology consultant, said:  “I was on my way into London on my way to go to work, blissfully unaware what was going on, listening to my podcast. Suddenly there was mass screaming and panic, a huge explosion.

“Obviously something had gone on. A lady was saying she’d seen a small bag with flames coming off. Platform staff reacted very quickly and encouraged people off the platform quickly.

“There were a few people with small injuries, people getting squeezed and pushed.”

BBC correspondent Riz Lateef was at the station travelling to work and told BBC Five Live 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.”

Another passenger told the radio station: “I heard a really loud explosion – when I looked back there appeared to be a bag but I don’t know if it’s associated with it.

“I saw people with minor injuries, burnings to the face, arms, legs, multiple casualties in that way. People were helping each other.”

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson said: “I’m afraid my info is limited and it’s important not to speculate.

“People shouldn’t keep clam and go about their lives in the normal way. I know Transport for London and the British Transport Police are on it and they’ll be updating their websites as we get more information.”

Credit: Beth Horton

Credit: Beth Horton

In a statement, Scotland Yard said: “Police were called at approximately 8.20am to Parsons Green Underground Station following reports of an incident on a Tube train.

“Officers from the Metropolitan Police Service and British Transport Police are in attendance along with the London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service.

“We would advise people to avoid the area.”

Natasha Wills, assistant director of operations at the London Ambulance Service said: “We were called at 8:20am to reports of an incident at Parsons Green underground station.

“We have sent multiple resources to the scene including single responders in cars, ambulance crews, incident response officers and our hazardous area response team, with the first of our medics arriving in under five minutes.

“Our initial priority is to assess the level and nature of injuries.”

A London Fire Brigade spokeswoman said: “We were called at 8.21am and we have information there was a fire on a train eastbound at the platform at Parsons Green. We have got two fire engines there.”

The British Transport Police said: “We are aware of an incident at  Parsons Green station. Officers are at the scene. The station is closed. More information as we get it.”

Transport for London tweeted: “Police are responding to an incident at Parsons Green. We will update the feed when we know more.”

The Metropolitan Police are advising people to avoid the area.

Armed police, the London Ambulance Service and the London Fire Brigade are all at the scene.

We are aware of an incident at Parsons Green. We have turned off dynamic pricing and will refund all journeys from the affected area.

Credit: Ed Johnson

Uber said: “We are aware of an incident at Parsons Green. We have turned off dynamic pricing and will refund all journeys from the affected area.”

The British Transport Police said: “We ask everyone to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour to us by texting 61016 or calling 0800 405040.”

More to follow.

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