Explosion Reported at Parsons Green Underground – Travel Risks
15 Sep 2017
An explosion has reportedly occurred at Parsons Green Station on the London Underground’s District Line in the west of the UK’s capital, with several people injured. Images from social media show a white bucket inside a supermarket bag which was on fire; the object did not appear to have caused extensive damage. London Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism unit has taken over the lead in investigating this incident, with it being considered a terrorist act at present. The object has been described as an improvised explosive device (IED). Some reports suggest that the device was meant to have caused a larger explosion but did not fully detonate. The device also reportedly had a timer attached to it.
- Police and paramedics were called at 0820 local time on 15 September, after an explosion on the District Line of the London Underground.
- Several individuals have reportedly been injured after an explosion but no fatalities have been reported.
- London Metropolitan Police are treating the incident as a terrorist act.
Terrorism: An explosion has reportedly occurred at Parsons Green Station on the London Underground’s District Line in the west of the UK’s capital, with several people injured. Images from social media show a white bucket inside a supermarket bag which was on fire; the object did not appear to have caused extensive damage. London Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism unit has taken over the lead in investigating this incident, with it being considered a terrorist act at present. The object has been described as an improvised explosive device (IED). Some reports suggest that the device was meant to have caused a larger explosion but did not fully detonate. The device also reportedly had a timer attached to it.
Armed police officers have been reported at the scene, as well as London’s fire and ambulance services. The National Health Service have reported that 22 people have been treated in relation to this issue (none with serious or life-threatening injuries) and no fatalities have been reported. Injuries have been caused by burns and from being crushed as people ran to evacuate.
Solace global comment
This is the fifth terror incident of 2017 in the UK in which an attack has occurred. What sets this one apart, is that no deaths have been reported. The list of terror attacks in the UK in 2017 are as follows:
19 June 2017: A van was rammed into Muslim worshippers close to the Finsbury Park Mosque in London. 10 people were injured and one was killed.
3 June 2017: Eight people were confirmed dead and nearly 50 injured after a van intentionally struck people on London Bridge. The occupants of the vehicle then ran to Borough Market where they attacked people with knives. All three attackers were shot dead by police.
22 May 2017: A British suicide bomber attacked the Manchester Arena, killing 22 and injuring 250 people. The attack occurred just after the culmination of a music concert.
22 March 2017: A British Muslim drove into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before crashing at the Palace of Westminster. In total he killed five people, before being killed himself.
Police have also reported that six other imminent plots have been stopped before they were allowed to occur; right-wing and Islamic terrorism both pose significant threats in the UK. Some commentators have suggested that this marks the most sustained period of terrorist activity since the bombing campaign of the IRA in the 1970s. This attack comes days after police reported that terror-related arrests have surged by 68 per cent in the year ending June 2017.
Citizens in the United Kingdom, and London especially, were already on an emotional edge given the recent terror incidents in the United Kingdom. This incident is likely to raise tensions further, and result in stampedes (as has was seen during this incident) with people being crushed for situations which may turn out to be benign. It may also lead to further ‘suspicious object’ incidents, whereby locations are closed down while police investigate what is often misplaced luggage, causing significant travel disruption.
London Metropolitan Police have advised that the area should be avoided, with the station and surrounding area cordoned off, and residents told to stay indoors. The District Line has been suspended and travellers will need to make alternative travel arrangements. A major incident has been declared at St Maryâs Hospital in Paddington, with this area expected to be particularly busy.
At present, Transport for London have confirmed that Fulham Road has been closed between Munster Road and North End Road, and Parsons Green Lane has been closed northbound at New Kings Road. New Kings Road has also been closed between Putney Bridge and Wadsworth Bridge Road.
Raids around the city are highly likely as police conduct their investigations. Travellers should be aware that this may lead to road closures with little notice. The current UK terror threat level is set at âsevereâ (the second highest level), meaning an attack is highly likely. Travellers should expect to see a large police presence at transport hubs and other key locations, though it is unclear if this is set to be heightened in response to this event in the long term. Authorities have confirmed that there will be an enhanced police presence across Londonâs transport system and in busy areas today (15 September) for reassurance purposes.
This incident again demonstrates that there is the potential for terror attacks in the United Kingdom. It also demonstrates how well trained and equipped emergency services are in the United Kingdom; they were on the scene within five minutes of first being notified.
British security services have advised members of the public to remain vigilant at all times and alert to the dangers of terrorism. Moreover, any suspicious objects or activities should be reported to police by calling 999 or through the anti-terror hotline on 0800 789321. Travellers to London and the United Kingdom are advised that enhanced security measures are not necessary. Travellers may wish to consider employing travel tracking technology alongside an intelligence platform, however. This will enable them to quickly notify others of an emergency and be kept updated of any security related incidents such as the events at Parsons Green.
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