Sept. 15 (UPI) — An explosion and fire aboard a crowded London subway car injured several passengers and interrupted service early Friday, in what police say is a terror-related attack.
The explosion occurred as a train left Parsons Green station in southwest London during the morning rush hour.
The attack is being investigated as a terrorist-related incident, London Metropolitan Police said. It added on its Facebook site that London Ambulance reported 18 people were hospitalized.
Passengers said a wall of fire erupted aboard one car.
Several passengers received burns and dozens hurried to leave the train and get out of harm’s way. At least 18 people were injured, but none seriously.
Metropolitan Police Asst. Commissioner Marc Rowley said an improvised explosive device is suspected in the blast. He also said streets in the area of the subway station have been cordoned off, and British counterintelligence agency MI5 is involved in the investigation.
The incident prompted panic in the subway — which is the world’s oldest and among busiest — disrupted schedules and drew a quick and heavy response from rescue workers and armed police. Emergency responders were on the scene within minutes, Rowley said.
The attack drew swift condemnation from U.S. President Donald Trump.
“Another attack in London by a loser terrorist,” he tweeted early Friday. “These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!”
“. The internet is their main recruitment tool which we must cut off & use better!” he added in another.
Friday’s was the fifth terrorism-related attack in London this year. The previous four killed 36 people, and police said six other significant plots, soon to be prosecuted, were thwarted before they occurred.