ISIS claims responsibility for London subway explosion
29 injured, none life-threatening
4:31 AM, Sep 15, 2017
3:25 PM, Sep 15, 2017
A major manhunt is under way after an improvised explosive device exploded on a London Underground train, injuring 29 people in what police have called a terrorist incident.
None of the injured are thought to be in a serious or life-threatening condition, according to the London Ambulance Service, which took 19 of the injured to hospitals. Ten others went to hospitals on their own.
The blast occurred during the morning rush hour at about 8:20 a.m. local time (3:20 a.m. ET) Friday at Parsons Green Tube station, a leafy stop on a busy commuter line from southwest London into the center of the capital.
"We now assess that this was a detonation of an improvised explosive device," London's Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said at a news conference.
Most of the injuries appear to be the result of flash burns, he said.
No arrests have been made so far. Hundreds of detectives are working on the inquiry with the support of Britain's domestic intelligence service, MI5.
Mark Rowley, assistant commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police, said that investigators were making "excellent progress" in identifying, locating and arresting those responsible.
A British security source who has been briefed on the investigation told CNN that a timer was found on the device. It's clear the device was intended to cause much greater damage, the source said, but cautioned that the investigation is still in its preliminary stages.
Another source briefed by investigators told CNN that an initial assessment of the device indicates it is "highly likely" to have contained the explosive TATP but that this has not been confirmed. It also appeared to have been crude and poorly designed, the source said.
The terror threat level in the United Kingdom was raised from severe to critical, Prime Minister Theresa May announced, a spokesperson told CNN. The terror threat level of "critical" means than another attack is considered to be "imminent."
"Police and security services are obviously doing all the work to discover the full circumstances of this cowardly attack and try to identify those responsible," she said.
"The threat of terrorism that we face is severe but together, by working together, we will defeat them."
She added that people should carry on with their daily lives but be vigilant.
In the aftermath of the explosion, Parsons Green station was closed, a wide security cordon was put in place and large numbers of emergency responders, including armed police officers, flooded the scene.
"Suddenly, there was this boom," eyewitness Gustavo Vieira told CNN. "Everyone shouting and screaming... We were just leaving the carriage [when the explosion happened]... Just heard and everyone starting running... And I didn't look back."
He said people were taken to a nearby restaurant, where some were treated by first responders.
Another witness, software developer Sylvain Pennec, told CNN: "It was maybe 10 meters from me, the explosion. I didn't fully realize because I had my headphones on. I heard a big... 'Bam.' An explosion noise.
"When I looked I saw people starting to get scared. We were lucky because we were at the Parsons Green station and the doors were starting to open. Everyone managed to get out of the train."
Pennec said the device looked "like a big mayonnaise bucket" but he was unsure what was inside.
"I saw some people with burns, and things like that. But, from what I saw, most people were injured from the movement of the crowd," he added.
Police evacuated an area around the station approximately 55 yards in radius while they investigate.
"The evacuation has been necessary whilst specialist officers secure the remnants of the improvised device and ensure it is stable," a Met Police statement said, adding that a "small number of residents" would be affected.
Mayor: 'Safe global city'
London Mayor Sadiq Khan told CNN there would be "an enhanced police presence" across London's public transport system and urged people to be "vigilant and alert" -- but not alarmed.
"What we've seen in the last period across Europe is attempts by evil and cowardly individuals to kill, to injure and to disrupt our way of life and what we're not going to do is allow them to change how we live our lives, to be pluralistic, to be respectful," he said.
"We will do all we can to keep our city, to keep Londoners, to keep visitors, to keep businesses safe."
He added: "We are a safe global city."
US President Donald Trump told reporters in the White House Rose Garden on Friday that "we have to be tougher and we have to be smarter" in dealing with the terrorist threat.
"It is a terrible thing. It just keeps going and going and we have to be very smart, we have to be very, very tough, perhaps we are not nearly tough enough," Trump said.
Trump called the British Prime Minister "to offer his condolences over this morning's cowardly attack in London," a Downing Street spokesperson said.