London Underground Bombed By Presumed Terrorists
The London subway was hit by a bomb during the morning rush hour. Authorities are treating it as a terrorist attack.
Britain was hit by a terrorist attack on Friday morning, when a crude device exploded on a crowded London Underground train, injuring commuters, sowing panic, disrupting service and drawing a heavy response from armed police officers and emergency workers.
The device exploded at 8:20 a.m. on a District Line train leaving the Parsons Green station in Southwest London.
“This was a detonation of an improvised explosive device,” Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley of the Metropolitan Police, a top counterterrorism official, said at a news conference. He urged anyone who had seen what happened, or had taken photos or videos of the bombing, to come forward.
The authorities immediately beefed up security around the transit system, as hundreds of police officers and detectives combed the scene for clues.
At least 22 people were hospitalized, several of whom had apparently been injured as panicked commuters fled. None had life-threatening injuries, and hospital officials described the victims as “walking wounded.”
Thankfully, it was a relatively crude bomb—an improvised device built in a plastic bucket—and most of the injuries seemingly came from the ensuing panic.
It was the fifth major terrorist attack in Britain this year, following a vehicular and knife attack near Parliament in March, a suicide bombing at a rock concert in Manchester in May, and a van and knife attack around London Bridge and a van attack outside a London mosque, both in June.
Taken together, the terrorist violence has been the deadliest on British soil since July 7, 2005, when suicide bombers set off explosions on three subway cars and a double-decker bus in London, killing 52 people and injuring scores of others.
The new attack immediately revived concerns that militants might be targeting the Underground, commonly known as the Tube — the world’s oldest subway system and one of its busiest.
Prime Minister Theresa May returned to London from her constituency in Maidenhead, west of the capital, and summoned a meeting of the government’s emergency committee, known as Cobra, for the afternoon. Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, appealed for calm.
The calm of Londoners after so many attacks is admirable. It would be quite understandable if there was more panic and an ugly, anti-Muslim backlash. Thus far, the famed British stiff upper lip has prevailed.