Live Updates: Police Make More Arrests In Connection With London Tube Attack
The UK threat level is back at "severe", meaning an attack is no longer expected imminently. Five men, aged between 17 and 48, are in custody in connection with the Parsons Green attack, which wounded 30 people.
What We Know So Far
- An explosion on a tube train at Parsons Green station in west London at 8:20am on Friday has been declared a terrorist incident.
- Police confirmed that the "detonation of an improvised explosive device" took place. It does not appear to have fully detonated, however.
- At least 30 people were treated in hospital following the incident, but no one was thought to be in a serious or life-threatening condition. Police said most victims were suffering from "flash burns".
- Commuters described scenes of panic as passengers were caught up in the crush to leave the station.
- US president Donald Trump appeared to claim on Twitter that the "loser terrorist" behind the attack was "in the sights of Scotland Yard". A Met police spokesperson told BuzzFeed News the president's tweets were "unhelpful", while PM Theresa May said it was "never" helpful to speculate during an ongoing investigation.
- Five men remain in custody, after officers made six arrests in connection with the attack. On Saturday morning an 18-year-old man was arrested under the Terrorism Act in the port area of Dover, southeastern England. A home in Sunbury, Surrey, was searched later by armed police, then a 21-year-old man was arrested later that night, before he was released on Thursday. On Tuesday night, a third man, aged 25, was arrested in Newport. Early Wednesday morning another two men, aged 48 and 30, were arrested at a separate address in Newport. A 17-year-male was arrested early Thursday in Thornton Heath.
21-year-old man released without further action, Met police say
A 21-year-old man, arrested in Hounslow on Saturday night following the attack on Parsons Green tube, has been released with no further action.
In a statement, the Metropolitan police confirmed he had been released. A warrant for his further detainment expired today, the statement noted.
Five men remain in custody, under section 41 of the Terrorism Act, with warrants for further detention granted for two of them on Thursday.
Officers continue to search four properties in Surrey, Thornton Heath, and Newport in Wales. The statement said the search of another property in Surrey had been completed.
–Rose Troup Buchanan
A sixth suspect were arrested early Thursday in connection with the investigation into the Parsons Green attack, Metropolitan police said.
The suspect, identified only as a 17-year-old male, was arrested under the Terrorism Act after officers executed a warrant at an address in Thornton Heath at around 5am.
Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Met Counter Terrorism Command, said police were now searching five properties as part of a "fast-moving investigation."
"We anticipate that the searches will take some days to complete and may cause further disruption," he added. "However, it is important that we continue with these searches and I'd like to thank all those affected for their support, patience and cooperation."
All six men arrested so far are being kept in custody at police station in south London.
Two further men arrested in Wales over London tube attack, Met confirms
Two more men have been arrested in connection with Friday's terror incident at Parsons Green tube station, the Metropolitan police confirmed.
A 48-year-old man and a 30-year-old man were arrested under the Terrorism Act in Newport at 5am this morning. The move follows the arrest of a 25-year-old man, also in Newport but at a separate address, late last night.
Two addresses in Wales are currently being searched following the arrests.
The subsequent arrests mean that in total five men have been arrested in connection with the attack during rush hour on Friday morning. Thirty people were treated in hospital, mostly suffering from flash burns.
Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Met Counter Terrorism Command, said the operation "continues to be a fast-moving investigation" and that a "significant" amount of activity had taken place since Friday.
"We now have five men in custody and searches are continuing at four addresses," he said. "Detectives are carrying out extensive inquiries to determine the full facts behind the attack."
–Rose Troup Buchanan
Third man arrested on suspicion of violating the Terrorism Act
A 25-year-old man was arrested Tuesday evening in Newport in connection with the London tube attack, Metropolitan police said.
He was arrested under the Terrorism Act and taken into custody by the Metropolitan police's counterterrorism command with support from Gwent police and the Welsh Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit.
The 18-year-old and 21-year-old men arrested on Saturday remain in custody, police said.
The home in Newport where Tuesday's arrest took place is being searched, and searches are also ongoing in Surrey and at a commercial property in Hounslow, police said.
Terror threat level reduced from "critical" to "severe"
The UK terror threat level has been reduced from "critical" to "severe", meaning an attack is highly likely, but no longer expected imminently.
Home secretary Amber Rudd said the decision to lower the threat level had been made by the independent Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, indicating that "good progress" had been made by the police investigation into the Parsons Green tube bombing.
Two men, aged 18 and 21, are currently in custody under anti-terror legislation in connection with the attack, which injured 30 people on Friday.
US national security adviser walks back Trump's Scotland Yard tweet, saying it meant officials have terrorist organisations "under scrutiny"
US national security adviser H.R. McMaster has walked back an earlier tweet by President Trump about the Parsons Green attack.
McMaster said on ABC News' This Week that by tweeting that the tube bombing suspects were "in the sights of Scotland Yard", Trump meant that officials "have these terrorist organisations under scrutiny."
"What the president was communication is that it is not surprising at all that law enforcement professionals and intelligence professionals have these terrorist organisations under scrutiny like the FBI does in the United States," McMaster said on Sunday.
Presenter George Stephanopoulos pressed McMaster, asking if Trump knew Scotland Yard had the perpetrators in their sight.
"What he's meaning to communicate is that we look at these organisations every day," McMaster said, stressing the importance of working with international partners to protect Americans.
Trump was widely scrutinised and criticised for the tweet, with many saying he was either disclosing sensitive information about the investigation or was fabricating the detail. London officials called it unhelpful.
–Mary Ann Georgantopoulos
Theresa May says "cowardly" attack intended to cause significant harm, and comments again on Trump's tweet
Prime Minister Theresa May sat down with ABC's This Week on Sunday and called Friday's attack on the London tube "cowardly," saying that it was clearly intended to cause significant harm.
In the interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, May addressed President Trump's tweets that appeared to claim that the "loser terrorist" behind the attack was "in the sights of Scotland Yard".
"I don't think it's helpful for anyone to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation," May said. "Police and security services are doing the work necessary to discover the full circumstances of this cowardly attack that's taken place and to identify all those who are responsible."
Trump also used the London attack to reiterate that his travel ban needed to be "far larger, tougher, and more specific" – a policy May has not agreed with.
"What is important is that we are able to have the powers to look into people, to identify people who may be wanting to cause us harm and who are plotting to cause us harm, and to be able to take the necessary actions when people do cause us harm," May said in response to Trump's tweet.
The prime minister went on to say that she plans on raising the issue of the use of the internet to spread extremist at the United Nations.
"One of the issues we need to be addressing, and I'll be raising this at the UN, is the question of the use of the internet for terrorist planning and using it for the spread of extremism, of hatred, of propaganda that can incite and can inspire terrorism."
May said big tech companies such as Facebook and Google have already come together to work on the issue.
–Mary Ann Georgantopoulos
House search takes place close to site of second arrest
Police are searching a residential address in Stanwell, Surrey, close to Heathrow airport and to where a 21-year-old man was arrested on Saturday night in connection with the Parsons Green bombing.
The 21-year-old was arrested in nearby Hounslow in west London, hours after police evacuated and searched a home in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, that BuzzFeed News understands belongs to a well-known couple in the community who have fostered hundreds of children, being appointed MBEs in 2009 for services to children.
Cordons are still in place in Sunbury, but police in Surrey said there were "no safety risks" associated with the searches taking place.
– Matthew Champion
Home secretary: Trump's tweet was "pure speculation", not a leak
Home secretary Amber Rudd has said that US president Donald Trump's much-criticised tweet in the aftermath of the Parsons Green bombing was "pure speculation", and not an intelligence leak.
Just over three hours after an improvised explosive device went off, injuring 30 people, Trump tweeted to suggest the perpetrators of the attack were "in the sights" of police in London, sparking criticism by the Metropolitan police and even prime minister Theresa May.
Speaking to BBC One's Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, Rudd echoed this criticism, saying: "It’s never helpful to have speculation about an ongoing operation, and I would include the president of the United States in that comment."
She added that Trump's comments were "pure speculation" and not a repeat of the "outrageous" intelligence leak in the US that took place after the Manchester bombing.
Asked whether it would be helpful if the US president should just stop tweeting, the home secretary said she wouldn't be the first person to say that.
– Matthew Champion
Second man arrested over Parsons Green attack
A second man has been arrested in connection with the Parsons Green terror attack, police announced on Sunday morning.
The 21-year-old man was arrested in Hounslow, west London, by counterterrorism police shortly before midnight on Saturday.
The Metropolitan police said he was arrested under section 41 of the Terrorism Act and taken to a south London police station, where he remains in custody.
On Saturday police arrested an 18-year-old man, also under section 41 of the Terrorism Act, and searched a house in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, in connection with the attack.
– Matthew Champion
House searched by armed police belongs to couple appointed MBEs for fostering hundreds of children
The house searched in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, as part of the investigation into the Parsons Green tube attack belongs to a couple who were appointed MBEs for fostering hundreds of children, BuzzFeed News understands.
Penelope and Ronald Jones, aged 71 and 88, were appointed MBEs for services to children and families in the Queen’s new year honours in 2009.
Several residents told BuzzFeed News that the people who lived in the purple-coloured house that was searched by armed police and sparked an evacuation of nearby homes were well known foster carers; kind; and well-liked.
One resident said the couple had lived there for 40 years, and were well-known in the community.
A woman whose mother lives opposite the couple added: "They're just a really nice couple who've been fostering for years."
Speaking to the BBC in 2009 after being appointed an MBE, Mrs Jones said she was inspired to foster children after working with young offenders in a juvenile prison.
"We do it because we find it rewarding. Helping other people is rewarding, and I treat them how I would like to be treated if I was in that situation,” she said at the time.
In another interview she said the couple had most recently been fostering refugee children, including from Iraq, Eritrea, Syria, Albania and Afghanistan.
– Sara Spary and Matthew Champion
"They had machine guns" – residents shocked as armed police evacuate house in operation linked to Parsons Green attack
Residents were in a state of shock in Sunbury after a house was evacuated and searched by armed police in connection with the Parsons Green bombing.
Standing by police tape after being evacuated from their homes, they told of how armed police told them to leave their homes at around 2pm. They knocked on doors and told people to take their belongings and leave "for their safety." Many were frustrated at not being given more information, they said. One man who did not wish to be named said he was cleaning his car when an armed officer told him to leave. "They had machine guns," he told BuzzFeed News. "There were plainclothes officers and (unformed) police."
Another resident said: "It was an armed police officer – he told us we've got to get out now, to get keys, phone and money – and to get out ASAP, and to walk, not take the car."
They added: "Now I'm just waiting to get home, very tired very shocked ... I feel really scared."
Another resident, 46-year-old Deborah Turner said: "I was at home and the police told us we had to leave for our own safety but wouldn't tell us why. We came outside – and they gave us no reason why. They said we could go to the (local) rugby club if we wanted. A lot of the neighbours are friendly but as it's such a long road... some are private. It's really friendly and it's quiet – you don't get any trouble around here. All of a sudden you've got armed police walking down your road. It was like 'what the hell?'."
Her son, 22-year-old Matthew Turner said: "I'd just got home from work. I just wanted to relax."
– Sara Spary
Home secretary: Arrest is "very significant"
Home secretary Amber Rudd has said the arrest of an 18-year-old man in Dover on Saturday in connection with the Parsons Green attack is "very significant".
Speaking after chairing an emergency Cobra meeting – and updating the prime minister – Rudd confirmed the terror threat level would remain at critical.
“The police have made very good progress but the operation is ongoing," she said.
Asked whether the perpetrator of the attack was known to the authorities, Rudd said it was "much too early to say".
"At the moment we have one arrest, the operation is ongoing, when we have more information we will be sharing it," she said.
After expressing sympathy for those injured in Friday's attack, Rudd added: "There is no doubt that this was a serious IED, and it was good fortune that it did so little damage in fact."
– Matthew Champion
Address outside London searched in connection with attack
A house in Sunbury, Surrey, just outside London, is being searched in connection with the arrest of the 18-year-old man in Dover earlier on Saturday, police have announced.
The Metropolitan police said a 100m cordon was being put in place and residents surrounding the house in question had been evacuated as a "precautionary measure".
"A search of the address is ongoing and the cordons will remain in place until the operation is complete," a statement said.
"Police would like to thank the local residents directly affected for their cooperation and patience. Local officers are on duty in the immediate area to talk to the community and address any concerns that they may have."
Local resident Debbie Forsyth told BuzzFeed News she initially saw armed police arrive in the area, but they had now been replaced by police in hi-vis jackets.
– Matthew Champion
Teenager arrested over Parsons Green attack
An 18-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the terrorist attack at Parsons Green, police have announced.
He was arrested by Kent police in the port area of Dover, southeast England, on Saturday morning under section 41 of the Terrorism Act and remains in custody. He is due to be transferred to a police station in south London "in due course".
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, Senior National Co-ordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, said police had made "a significant arrest in our investigation this morning".
"Although we are pleased with the progress made, this investigation continues and the threat level remains at critical," he said in a statement.
“The public should remain vigilant as our staff, officers and partners continue to work through this complex investigation. We are not, at this time, changing our protective security measures and the steps taken to free up extra armed officers remain in place.
“This arrest will lead to more activity from our officers. For strong investigative reasons we will not give any more details on the man we arrested at this stage.”
Police also revealed that 30 people were now known to have been injured in Friday's attack.
– Matthew Champion
Police hunt for those responsible for Parsons Green bomb
Police are searching for the people behind Friday's tube attack, in which 29 people were injured.
More than 24 hours after an improvised explosive device went off on a train at Parsons Green station, no arrests have been made.
On Friday night the Metropolitan police said hundreds of detectives were poring over CCTV footage to help identify a suspect or suspects.
That came after the UK terror threat level was raised to critical, indicating that an attack was expected imminently.
Assistant Commission Mark Rowley, head of National Counter Terrorism Policing, said: “Our investigation is continuing at speed and our priority is to identify, locate and arrest those responsible."
He said that "while we chase down the suspects", people can expect to see additional armed police officers carrying out patrols, especially at crowded places and tourist spots.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321, while anyone with footage or images has been asked to upload them on a police website where they can be assessed by investigators.
– Matthew Champion
Tube explosives "similar" to those used in Manchester Arena bombing
The explosives used in the Parsons Green attack are similar to those used by suicide bomber Salman Abedi, who killed 22 people at the Manchester Arena in May, a government minister has said.
Ben Wallace's comments to BBC Radio 4's Today programme come after a security source told BuzzFeed News the tube IED was being taken "very, very seriously" by police.
Read more here.
– Matthew Champion
Train station reopens after explosion
Authorities are taking sophisticated explosive device "very, very seriously"
The device used in the Parsons Green attack is being taken “very very seriously” by police, a security source told Buzzfeed News.
Police are understood to have a suspect but have not positively identified him, though the source said there were still “many lines of inquiry” to follow.
They include pulling CCTV images and tracing his route. The source said detectives know where he got on and off the tube.
The fear at Scotland Yard and MI5 is that the suspect or suspects could be preparing to launch another attack.
The attacker, the source said, had been able to make a relatively sophisticated device and had “murderous intent.”
The bomb set off at Parsons Green appears to be a crude attempt at making a device which had some similarities to the bombs used in the London underground attacks on July 7 2005.
Like those devices, it was set off with an initiator circuit using a fairy light as a “hot wire igniter”.
It is understood the device was on a timer, probably a mobile phone, and the detonator appears to have worked, but the main charge did not go off. There are concerns, however, that the bomber had got so far down the road to making a successful device.
It was unclear last night how sophisticated the main charge was or whether the bomber had manufactured homemade high explosives.
The attack also has echoes of the failed July 21 attacks, two weeks after July 7, one of which was set off at nearby Westbourne Park before bomber Hussain Osman fled across the tracks.
The threat level was also raised to critical – meaning another attack is expected imminently – on Friday night amid fears that the Parsons Green attacker may be planning more as the net closes in.
One source said: “We don’t generally see terrorists sit back after one attack and give up, there may be more to come.”
Officials are looking for more witnesses to the Parsons Green terror attack
Investigators are asking for witnesses and anyone with information on the Parsons Green attack to step forward as they work to identify those responsible for detonating an improvised explosive device.
"I urge communities across the UK to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to the police immediately," Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, head of the National Counter Terrorism Policing unit, said in a statement.
Investigators have already interviewed 45 witnesses in the attack that left at least 29 people injured, Metropolitan Police officials said. At least 77 images and videos have been sent to investigators, and officials are also reviewing surveillance footage from the area.
"Hundreds of police officers are pursuing numerous lines of enquiry, trawling through hours of CCTV footage and speaking to witnesses," Rowley said.
Remnants of the explosive device used in the terror attack are also being examined by forensic experts.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800-789-321.
Images or video from the incident can also be uploaded for authorities to review at ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk.
ISIS claims responsibility for train explosion
ISIS claimed responsibility for the Parsons Green explosive that left at least 29 people injured on Friday, saying an affiliate group carried out the attack.
The claim of responsibility was posted Friday through it's Amaq News Agency, according to SITE Intel Group, which monitors extremist groups.
UK officials have not confirmed whether an ISIS cell, or ISIS inspired attackers, carried out the explosion. And ISIS has claimed responsibility for incidents in the past that were later determined to not have been coordinated by the terror network.
In the meantime, UK officials raised the terror threat to "critical," suggesting another attack may be imminent.
UK terror threat level has been raised to "critical"
Prime Minister Theresa May said the UK terror threat level has been raised to "critical" — the highest level possible — and suggested another attack "may be imminent."
The decision will mean more heavy security on London streets and the use of military personnel instead of police officers to guard certain areas, May told the BBC.
"This is a well-established plan to provide military support for the police and for this period, military personnel will replace police officers on guard duties at certain protected sites," May said.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Peter Rowley said at a press conference the order will help free police resources and provide another 1,000 armed officers from defense facilities.
The additional officers will be placed at transportation centers, public events and other "crowded places" to provide additional security, Rowley said.
The decision to raise the threat level, May said, was made by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Center, which reviews intelligence information regarding possible terrorism attacks.
The threat level had been at "severe," meaning an attack was believed to have been highly likely.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan condemned the attack and said the additional resources will help keep Londoners safe.
"Tonight and this weekend there will be additional police officers — including armed officers — on our streets to keep us safe," Khan said. "Rest assured the full sources of our police and security services are being deployed to track down those responsible."
"This is a proportionate and sensible step which will provide extra reassurance and protection while the investigation progresses," May said.
She asked UK residents to "go about their business the normal way," but remain vigilant.
US national security adviser struggles to explain Trump's tweets about the London terror attack
Responding to President Trump's tweet about those responsible for the London terror attack being on Scotland Yard's radar, US National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster said the president was "generally" referring to law enforcement agencies monitoring terrorist activity.
"I think what the president was communicating is that obviously all of our law enforcement efforts are focused on this terrorist threat for years," McMaster said at a White House briefing. "Scotland Yard has been a leader, as our FBI has been a leader. So I think, if there was a terrorist attack here, God forbid, that we would say that they were in the sights of the FBI. I think he didn't mean anything beyond that."
McMaster then tried to clarify Trump's intention, saying, "I think he means generally that this kind of activity is what we are trying to prevent."
He continued: "So these organizations that were responsible for this and whatever comes out of the investigation, that remains to be seen. It is likely that law enforcement had been working on that problem."
McMaster was not on the call between Trump and UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who had earlier called Trump's tweets "unhelpful."
Trump phones May after "unhelpful" comments
Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump spoke by phone Friday to discuss the Parsons Green attack.
The White House said Trump conveyed "his sympathies and prayers for those injured in the terrorist attack today in London."
"The president pledged to continue close collaboration with the United Kingdom to stop attacks worldwide targeting innocent civilians and to combat extremism," the White House said.
The call came after May appeared to criticize Trump for tweets in which he said the attack was carried out by a "loser" and that those responsible for the assault were on Scotland Yard's radar.
"I never think it's helpful for anyone to speculate on what is an ongoing situation," she said.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police also told BuzzFeed News that Trump’s tweets were “pure speculation” and characterized them as "unhelpful."
Downing Street said the two leaders also discussed North Korea's Thursday missile test, "agreeing it was a reckless provocation and that China must now use all its leverage to bring pressure to bear on the North Korean regime to ensure they change course and end these illegal tests.”
At a White House press briefing on Friday, National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster also said the US "stands in solidarity" with the United Kingdom.
"We will continue to work tirelessly with our partners to prevent attacks and of course, the United States remains committed to defeating terrorist organizations as well as their evil ideology," McMaster said, adding that Trump had previously called on Muslim-majority nations to combat extremism.
"We will defend our people and values against these attacks and we will always stand with countries around the world that do the same," he added.
—David Mack and Tasneem Nashrulla
Number of injured climbs to 29
A total of 29 people were treated in London hospitals after the Parsons Green attack, the NHS has said.
"London Ambulance took 19 patients to hospitals, and the others self-presented," officials said in a statement.
Most of those injured were taken to Chelsea and Westminster hospital, but Imperial, Guy's and St Thomas', and St George's also treated patients.
Businesses and locals come together to help in the aftermath of Parsons Green terror incident
Business and residents in the local community pulled together to help where they could.
One family opened their doors for reporters, handing out free coffee and tea and lending phone and laptop chargers. BuzzFeed News saw one resident handing out packets of biscuits to police. Around the town there were other businesses offering free Wi-Fi and use of toilets.
By the green, Teo Catino, a 52-year-old owner of a pizza restaurant, was handing out free pizzas to police with his son. He told BuzzFeed News he was providing the food for the community, and for the emergency services staff and police, who, he said, do not get paid or thanked enough. He also said he was grateful his own family had not been caught up in the attack.
Catino said: “My daughter was meant to be on the same train this morning. I’m very lucky. I live two minutes from Parsons Green station, between the station and the mosque. My wife called me [at work] about 9 o'clock and they [the police] had evacuated them in their pyjamas. I consider myself very lucky because I could have lost my daughter and my wife."
Witness describes how people fled from Parsons Green station after terror incident: “It was just crazy”
An eyewitness at the scene told BuzzFeed News how people ran from the station screaming and crying.
Niyi Shokunbu, 24, said he was on the train on his way to work when the reported explosion happened. He was listening to music on his headphones when people ran past him in a panic.
He said: “I have my headphones in and I see people running out and so I start running myself, everyone is panicking, jumping over barriers. You’ve got kids falling over, people jumping over [them], and we just all got out and two minutes later people run out with blood – people on the floor. There was a woman, just there, and people trying to help her. It was just crazy, man; I can’t believe it.
"People were running scared and that’s what made it worse, the panic attack. It’s just a sad thing. I was literally right there. It’s just crazy.”
He added: “I felt panicked, it’s a split second – the first thing that comes to your mind is escape. You have that instinct to save yourself. There was literally people on the floor. I’m still in shock – this stuff you see in movies but I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m talking literally in 10 seconds all this happened. We were lucky this happened when the train was stationary, and I didn’t hear anything, all I saw was people running.”
Chelsea and Westminster hospital admit 14 patients and "step down" major incident response protocol
A spokesperson for Chelsea and Westminster hospital has confirmed they admitted 14 people following the terror incident at Parsons Green, some who had sustained burns.
They confirmed that they had now stood down their "major incident protocol" and were now continuing to treat patients as normal.
“Our doctors and nurses have worked incredibly hard to ensure that our casualties received excellent care, along with the rest of the patients we treat here," he said. “We received a total of 14 casualties, with a small number admitted to our specialist burns unit."
He went on the thank all of the staff at the hospital, who worked under “incredibly difficult circumstances”.
– Rose Troup Buchanan
Woman stranded in Parsons Green describes "horrendous" scenes as people fled tube station
An 82-year-old woman who was stranded in Parsons Green and desperately trying to make her way to her daughter outside London told BuzzFeed News: "It was horrendous. There was so many people, and it wasn't just by the station it was right down the road.
"There were water hoses – it was manic. They [the people] were coming in hordes, holding their faces – whether they'd seen something I don't know."
She continued: “I thought, My god, imagine if there were children on the train going to school, just dreadful. Imagine the panic. I was shocked about it as it was so close."
Met confirm area around Parsons Green remains off-limits
The Metropolitan police have confirmed that the area surrounding Parsons Green tube station has been evacuated while officers investigate, following a terror incident this morning.
"The evacuation has been necessary whilst specialist officers secure the remnants of the improvised device and ensure it is stable," the Met said in a statement online.
It said a "small number of residents will be affected by the evacuation", spanning approximately 50 metres in radius from the tube station.
"Parsons Green tube remains closed and the public are advised to continue to avoid the area. We are working hard with partners and the local community to minimise any disruption and would like to thank the public for their continued understanding and assistance at this time."
–Rose Troup Buchanan
London mayor calls terrorists “evil and cowardly”
Sadiq Khan has condemned the people behind the Parsons Green attack, calling them "cowardly and evil" in a short video statement.
“What we’ve seen today is an attempt by cowardly and evil terrorists to kill, to injure, and to disrupt our way of life,” he said.
He went on to praise the service and dedication shown by first responders and ordinary Londoners in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
He called on Londoners not to be alarmed, and said there would be an increased police presence around the capital in the coming days.
–Rose Troup Buchanan
The PM has confirmed the threat level will stay at "severe" and said it's never helpful to "speculate" after Trump's tweets
The prime minister has confirmed that the UK's terror level will remain at "severe" following the incident at Parsons Green station on Friday morning.
Twenty-two people were admitted to three London hospitals after an improvised explosive device partly exploded on a London tube.
“The threat of terrorism that we face is severe,” May said in a statement from Downing Street after chairing a Cobra meeting, “but together we will defeat it.
"The emergency services were on the scene immediately and once again I’d like to thank them for the professionalism and bravery. And the police and security services are doing all the work to uncover the circumstances of this cowardly attack and identify those responsible."
She continued: "We do need to ensure that we’re dealing with not just the terrorist threat but the extremism and the hate that can actually incite that terrorism. That’s why we’re looking very carefully at the powers the police and security services have to make sure that they have the powers they need."
The PM went on to say that her government was working with internet companies, asking "what more we can be doing to deal with the terrorist propaganda, with the extremist propaganda that is put out across the internet".
Moving on to US president Donald Trump's tweets earlier today, May commented: "I never think it’s helpful for anyone to speculate on what is an ongoing situation. As I’ve said, the police and security services are working to understand the full circumstances of this cowardly attack and to identify all those responsible."
Over in Washington, Trump told reporters outside the White House that he would call May "right now".
Asked about the terror incident in London, the US president responded that it was a "terrible thing”.
"It keeps going and going, and we have to be very smart and we have to be very, very tough – perhaps we’re not nearly tough enough,” he said.
–Rose Troup Buchanan & Patrick Smith
NHS England confirms 22 people admitted to hospital following terror incident at Parsons Green
A spokesperson for the NHS has confirmed that 22 people have been admitted to three hospitals across the capital. People were also treated at a local urgent care centre near the tube station.
Earlier, the London Ambulance Service said it had taken 19 people to three hospitals in London.
–Laura Silver & Rose Troup Buchanan
Met police call Trump's tweets "pure speculation" and "unhelpful"
The Metropolitan police has called Donald Trump's comments on the Parsons Green explosion "pure speculation" and "unhelpful" after the US president posted a series of tweets following the terror incident in west London.
“Anyone with information relating to the investigation should contact the counter-terrorism hotline,” the spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.
Trump had tweeted to say the attack was carried out by a "loser", and seemed to suggest that those responsible were on the radar of Scotland Yard.
It was unclear where Trump had come by this information. UK officials have not said publicly who was behind Friday's attack and no one has been arrested.
You can read more here.
–Jessica Simeone & Rose Troup Buchanan
22 people have been admitted to London hospitals, and none have life-threatening injuries
Twenty-two people have been admitted to London hospitals, including St Mary’s, Chelsea and Westminster, and Guy's and St Thomas’, in connection to this morning’s incident at Parsons Green.
Patients were also treated at a community urgent care centre near the station.
None are in a serious or life-threatening condition, according to the London Ambulance Service. Four patients admitted themselves to hospitals, while the remaining 18 were taken by the LAS.
Video captured at the scene showed paramedics treating a patient who appeared to have suffered burns to their legs.
The Metropolitan police’s assistant commissioner said it is believed that most of those injured have suffered "flash burns".
Extra staff were called into hospitals affected after trusts activated major incident plans.
Mansoor Khan, a London-based trauma surgeon, tweeted an image of a several staff waiting to receive casualties at St Mary’s major trauma unit shortly after the incident occurred at Parsons Green. Major incident status was later removed from hospitals affected.
"It was just absolute chaos": Local residents describe aftermath of terror incident
Susan Leslie, 51, a local resident, told BuzzFeed News how she was alerted to the terror attack by a friend who called her to see if she was safe.
She described how she ran immediately to the station, which is around the corner from her home. “We saw a lot of people crying. Some parents were running because they didn’t know what had happened. Some people thought the explosion was outside – there was confusion. There was a lady lying on the floor and she had some burns on her legs.
“We saw people running away, on their phones. It was panic.”
She said there were many parents panicked because there are many schools in the area, and children were walking to school.
She said she was shocked at the attack, describing Parsons Green as a “very, very nice” area of London. “We’re not even careful about home security here, about burglary. There’s very professional people who live here, mostly working in the city,” she said.
Her daughter Holly Leslie, 19, said: “There was a big police presence, and a few mothers wailing, worried their children were involved, and I actually comforted one. We saw a woman with burn marks on her knees. It was just absolute chaos.”
Christina Anderson, 83, a Parsons Green resident for 50 years, told BuzzFeed News: “I came out shopping early, at 8.30am, and saw hundreds of people and thought something must have happened.
"Then I saw all these police cars coming up the road and someone said there was a bomb. They [the police] said it was unsafe to cross over so I’ve had to wait around for all this time. I saw a lot of young girls crying and being consoled by the police. They were crying, so I don’t know if they’d seen something. I thought something [a terror incident] was going to happen soon, but you don’t expect it so close to home because it’s a lovely area around here."
Here’s what we know so far about the device used in the Parsons Green attack
The Metropolitan police have confirmed they believe the explosion in a tube carriage at Parsons Green station was caused by an improvised explosive device, or IED.
Photos and videos posted on Twitter by eyewitnesses appear to show a device packed into a bucket in a Lidl bag that appears to use fairy lights as part of the trigger – a system which is recommended in several online guides to building IEDs, and which has been seen in previous failed attacks.
The attack bears a number of similarities to the four failed attacks on 21 July 2005 – just two weeks after a number of explosions killed 52 people on London tubes and buses on 7 July. The 21 July attacks also featured IEDs hidden in buckets, though in that occasion all four devices completely failed to detonate.
Police and ambulance authorities have reported that 18 people are injured – none critically – with most injuries taking the form of flash burns, suggesting that while the device was successful enough to create a fireball, it did not create the wave of force – known as a concussive blast – that usually causes the bulk of casualties in such attacks, especially when devices are packed with shrapnel.
The BBC has reported that it believed the device was set up with a timer, rather than a manual switch, which suggests the attack was not intended to be a suicide plot. BuzzFeed News understands police are now trying to establish where and by whom the device was put on the train.
Security experts have told BuzzFeed News that the failure of the explosive suggests an attacker working from often unreliable online bomb-making guides.
“These build-your-own-bomb guides often found on extremist sites are notoriously unreliable and ineffective; however, it does not deter people from attempting to make them,” Brian Painter of Discreet Security told BuzzFeed News.
“The items used in homemade explosives are over-the-counter items that when purchased in small quantities are virtually impossible to detect that they are going to be used for sinister means.”
–James Ball & Duncan Gardham
22 people admitted to hospitals following incident, NHS confirms
Twenty-two people have been admitted to hospital, NHS England has confirmed.
Eighteen people were taken to hospitals across the capital by the London Ambulance Service following the terror incident at Parsons Green, west London, on Friday morning.
–Rose Troup Buchanan
US president tweets following terror incident in Parsons Green
Donald Trump has tweeted following the terror incident in Parsons Green, west London, early Friday morning.
The US president suggested that the individual potentially responsible for the incident was already “in the sights” of the UK’s police community – raising questions over whether he was leaking genuine intelligence material from the UK authorities or fabricating a detail during an active investigation.
He followed up his first tweet with a second, in which he stated that the "internet is their main recruiting tool", and that security forces must do better.
Trump also used the incident to reiterate that his travel ban needed to be "far larger, tougher, and more specific". He continued: "but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!"
–Rose Troup Buchanan
Explosion caused by an improvised explosive device, Met police confirm
The Metropolitan police assistant commissioner has confirmed that the small explosion on the Parsons Green train was caused by an improvised explosive device, or IED)
Speaking outside Scotland Yard, Mark Rowley said the operation was being led and coordinated by the Met police, in cooperation with the British transport police and others.
"The investigation is being led by the Metropolitan police’s Counter-Terrorism Command and part of the [national] Counter-Terror police network and there many urgent inquiries ongoing now with hundreds of detectives involved, looking at CCTV, [carrying out] forensic work and speaking to witnesses," he said.
"This investigation is supported by our colleagues from MI5 [who are] bringing their intelligence expertise to bear on this case."
Rowley said he understood that "most" of the 18 people taken to hospital were suffering from "flash burns".
He said there would be an increased police presence across London's transport network, and urged anyone with photos or videos from the scene to contact the police.
–Rose Troup Buchanan
Security experts say attacker may be an “amateur extremist”
Experts contacted by BuzzFeed News say the apparent failure of the suspected device involved in the Parsons Green terror incident suggest an “amateur” attacker who may not have had direct contact with terror networks – but say these type of attacks are particularly difficult to prevent.
One former MI5 counterterror officer said the attack appeared to follow the pattern of some earlier, failed, attacks.
“My instinct says this is likely to be an ‘amateur extremist’ similar to [the] Exeter Giraffe cafe bomber who was radicalised online and set fire to his leg with a viable but badly made device some years ago,” he said.
These types of attacker are though, he added, very difficult to trace in advance because they don’t need much contact with others, often don’t travel overseas, and don’t always need to purchase materials that raise red flags.
“Unless the agencies get lucky and the attacker makes contact with a low-level source, possibly even a special branch source as they try and get some material or brag about what they are going to do there is no way to identify them [in advance],” he said.
“The media often ask this irresponsible question of ‘why didn’t the agencies know about him?'. Ask yourself, if you decided tomorrow, with no criminal history or certainly nothing related to terrorism, to go to a library and google 'make a bomb' then follow the open-source online instructions, would anyone know about it? No, not if you didn’t tell them.”
Another terror expert, Brian Painter of Discreet Security, told BuzzFeed News that homemade devices based on internet guides are often unreliable and prone to failure.
“These build-your-own-bomb guides often found on extremist sites are notoriously unreliable and ineffective; however, it does not deter people from attempting to make them,” he said. “The items used in homemade explosives are over the counter items that when purchased in small quantities are virtually impossible to detect that they are going to be used for sinister means.
“It’s important that if anyone suspects that someone is making purchases, acting strangely, becoming radicalised in any way, that the authorities are made aware and let them determine the threat, if any.”
This is how the terror incident at Parsons Green unfolded, according to eyewitnesses
A commuter who was on the tube train in west London where an explosive device was detonated in a suspected terrorist incident on Friday morning has described the moment she thought she was going to die as she was crushed in a human stampede.
Emma Steveton, 27, was on the train travelling eastbound from Wimbledon to Edgware Road, when the incident took place at around 8.20am.
"I got on the train, it was a normal train. The doors were closing and we heard really loud awful screams either from the carriage next to us or one along. There was lots and lots of screaming and people shouting run at the top of their voice," she told BuzzFeed News.
Steveton then got out of the carriage and sprinted towards the station exit, she said there was "a real stampede and crush", with "layers" of people trapped.
"There was a poor little boy smashed into the floor with his face bleeding and screaming. There was a woman shouting that she was pregnant.
"The most traumatic thing was the weight of these bodies piling onto me and just thinking, this is it, I’m going to die."
Another commuter, Sam Jones, was in the carriage when the incident occurred. “We weren’t toward the end of the train where the incident happened, we were in the middle, a mass of people started running past on the platform screaming and we started getting shoved from behind, just had to grab my girlfriend and run.
“Afterwards I saw plenty of people with burnt faces and burnt hair, several police, fire and ambulance crews outside.”
You can read more here.
–Patrick Smith, Rose Troup Buchanan & Laura Silver
18 taken to hospital following Parsons Green terror incident, London Ambulance Service confirm
Eighteen people have been taken to hospital following the terror incident at Parsons Green, the London Ambulance Service has confirmed.
Natasha Wills, assistant director of operations at the London Ambulance Service (LAS), said the first ambulance crew arrived on the scene within five minutes.
“We have sent a number of resources to the scene including ambulance crews, officers and our Hazardous Area Response Team.
“We are working closely with our colleagues from the Metropolitan Police, British transport police, and London Fire Brigade at the scene, ensuring patients receive the medical help they need as quickly as possible."
She said the LAS were very busy dealing with the incident and asked that people only contact the emergency services in a "genuine emergency".
Imperial College NHS Trust confirmed that a major incident had been declared at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, situated near Parsons Green. Following an event like that at Parsons Green this morning, it is typical for a hospital to call in extra staff and cancel leave to prepare for the possibility of an increase in the number of casualties they would usually see.
A source at St Mary’s confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the hospital had admitted “a few casualties” relating to this morning’s incident at Parsons Green.
–Laura Silver & Rose Troup Buchanan
Video appears to show immediate aftermath of explosion on Parsons Green train
St Mary's hospital prepares for those hurt in terror incident
Sadiq Khan: London condemns "hideous individuals" who seek to use terror
Sadiq Khan has said London "utterly condemns the hideous individuals who attempt to use terror to harm us and destroy our way of life".
Responding to the Parsons Green incident, the London mayor said: “As London has proven again and again, we will never be intimidated or defeated by terrorism.
“I am in close contact with the Metropolitan police, Transport for London, Government and other emergency services who are responding at the scene and leading the investigation. I will be attending the emergency COBRA meeting in Whitehall this afternoon with the prime minister.
He expressed thanks to "all our courageous emergency responders", as well as TfL staff. “I urge all Londoners to remain calm and vigilant, and to check TfL’s website for travel advice.”
–Rose Troup Buchanan
PM's thoughts with injured people at Parsons Green
Theresa May has said her thoughts are with those injured in the Parsons Green incident, and she will chair a Cobra emergency meeting this afternoon, Downing Street confirmed.
Conservative MP for Chelsea and Fulham Greg Hands said he was "extremely concerned" by what had happened.
"I’m following matters extremely closely," he told Sky News from Bucharest where he's involved in trade discussions. "I know people who were on the train and I’m trying to get some first-hand information.
"I’m extremely concerned and learning that it is a terrorist incident, I’m just very sad that this has happened in Fulham today. I think we have to look at what’s happened here, the background to the incident, and why [it happened]. It’s too early to draw a wider conclusion at the moment. The priority must be if the perpetrator is still at large and capturing the perpetrator and tending to the injured.
"I think looking at who did this and why and whether indeed it was the incident that the perpetrator wanted it to be or not will be a key part of what we’re looking at in the coming hours."
–Patrick Smith & Rose Troup Buchanan
Witnesses describe "people with burnt faces and burnt hair"
Commuter Sam Jones and his girlfriend were in the middle of the carriage where the incident occurred.
Shaken by the incident but unharmed, he told BuzzFeed News: “We weren’t toward the end of the train where the incident happened, we were in the middle, a mass of people started running past on the platform screaming and we started getting shoved from behind, just had to grab my girlfriend and run.
“Afterwards I saw plenty of people with burnt faces and burnt hair, several police, fire and ambulance crews outside.”
Terror incident declared, and number of people believed to have been injured, Met police confirm
A number of people have been injured following a terror incident at Parsons Green tube station in London, the Met confirmed.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the senior national coordinator for Counter Terrorism policing, said officers from his unit are investigating, in a statement online.
"At present we are aware of a number of people who have suffered injuries," it said.
"It is too early to confirm the cause of the fire, which will be subject to the investigation that is now underway by the Met's Counter Terrorism Command," it continued.
–Rose Troup Buchanan
Parsons Green "terror incident", Met confirm
Security sources keeping an "open mind" over Parsons Green incident
Security sources have told BuzzFeed News that they are "keeping an open mind" on whether the Parsons Green incident was terror-related.
While further investigation takes place into what caused the explosion, Scotland Yard's Counter Terrorism Command is "monitoring" the incident – along with MI5 – and will take over the investigation if it there is evidence it was deliberate. But for the time being, the immediate response is still being led by British transport police.
More than 50 firefighters on scene, London Fire Brigade confirms
The London Fire Brigade has at least six fire engines, two fire rescue units, and around 50 firefighters and specialist officers on the scene, it confirmed in a statement.
The LFB was alerted shortly after 8:20am, it said, calling in crews from Fulham, Wandsworth, Chelsea, and Hammersmith.
A Metropolitan police spokesperson advised people to avoid the area around Parsons Green following an incident earlier this morning.
"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," a Metropolitan police spokesperson said.
Natasha Wills, assistant director of operations at the London Ambulance Service, said: “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."
–Rose Troup Buchanan
Multiple reports of explosion taking place
Pictures posted online showed what appeared to be a partially burned bag on the floor of the train carriage. There has been no official confirmation of a fire or an explosion.
According to BBC newsreader Sophie Raworth, who was near the scene at the time of the incident, she saw a woman being treated for burns from "top to toe".
The London Ambulance Service said it had no information about injuries at present.
Journalist Jessica McKay was on the tube train behind when the incident took place.
"Someone on my train got a call from his friend who was on the train in front," she told BuzzFeed News while being held on Putney Bridge.
"Apparently there was an explosion in the first carriage and there was fire and some people hurt (not sure how many). Still stuck on the bridge and our train is going to going to go back south. Lots of panic by sounds of it."
Eyewitness describes panic and injuries that took place following reported explosion
Emma Steveton, 27, was on the train, travelling from Wimbledon to Edgware Road when the incident took place.
“I got on the train, it was a normal train. The doors were closing and we heard really loud awful screams either from the carriage next to us or one along. There was lots and lots of screaming and people shouting run at the top of their voice.”
She said she got out of the carriage, and sprinted towards the exit. “It was a real stampede and crush. There were about three layers of people underneath me. It was awful.
“There was a poor little boy smashed into the floor with his face bleeding and screaming. There was a woman shouting that she was pregnant.
“The most traumatic thing was the weight of these bodies piling on to me and just thinking, This is it, I’m going to die.”
Stevenon said station managers had told people to go back but that the immediate aftermath of the incident was truly chaotic. She told BuzzFeed News she did not hear an explosion or see any flames – although she had seen a number of people injured.
“The injuries were cuts and grazes to the faces, just people looking like they had had their faces rubbed on the ground. It was just from the stampede, as far as I knew.”
Stevenon said there was a huge police presence outside the station, and that she could also hear helicopters and see ambulances.
–Rose Troup Buchanan
Police advise people to avoid Parsons Green tube station after reported explosion takes place
Police, fire, and ambulance crews are at the scene of a reported explosion on a tube train in west London.
There are multiple reports of injuries by eyewitnesses, some from the apparent explosion that took place on a train at Parsons Green station on the District line, and also in the ensuing panic that followed.
The Metropolitan police said they were called to the scene at 8:20am, and are advising people to avoid the area entirely.