An explosion went off on the London Underground, wreaking havoc on the morning commute Thursday, in an incident that police are officially calling a terrorist attack.
The blast, an “improvised explosive device” according to Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley of the Metropolitan Police, went off at 8:20 a.m. on an eastbound District Line train departing Parsons Green in Southwest London.
The explosion left at least 22 people hospitalized, though none of the injuries were life-threatening.
Witnesses At Parsons Green Describe The Attack
Many witnesses have been coming forward to share their experiences, describing the sheer panic and mayhem at the scene at the time of the blast, as commuters ran, stampede-like, to escape. Emma Steveton, 27, told Buzzfeed News, “There was lots and lots of screaming and people shouting ‘run’ at the top of their voice.” She added, “The injuries were cuts and grazes to the face, just people looking like they had had their faces rubbed on the ground.”
Natalie Belford, 42, told The New York Times, “I knew it was a bomb when I saw people with charred hair and burned faces. This has got to be terrorism—a bag full of explosive materials don’t just appear on a train by accident.”
People have also been sharing, as encouraged by the police, videos and photos of the bomb on social media. One video posted to Twitter shows what looks like a flaming white bucket with wires spilling out:
Prime Minister Theresa May Calls London Underground Attack "Cowardly"
A manhunt is currently underway for the person responsible for the attack, which Prime Minister Theresa May has condemned as “cowardly” and “intended to cause physical harm.” The UK’s threat level is currently at “severe,” the second highest.
This is the fifth terrorist attack in Britain this year, including an attack near Parliament in March, a suicide bombing in Manchester in May, another attack near the London Bridge, and one outside a London mosque, both in June.