Top cop: London metro station terror incident caused by bomb

Police say a bomb was used during an explosion at a London metro station on Friday morning, injuring 18 people.

Armed British police officers stand on duty outside Parsons Green underground tube station in west London on 15 September 2017. Picture: AFP.

LONDON - British police said a bomb was used during an explosion at a London metro station which injured 18 people in what officers described as a “terrorist incident.”

“We now assess that this was a detonation of an improvised explosive device,” Britain’s top counter-terrorism officer Mark Rowley said on Friday.

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London police are being supported by Britain’s MI5 intelligence service, he said.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said Londoners will see more police on the streets of the British capital.

“They will see over the course of today and the next few days an enhanced police presence, not simply on the public transport network but also across London,” Khan told LBC Radio.

The London ambulance service said it had taken 18 people to hospital, but said none were thought to be in a serious condition.

Neil Basu, the senior national coordinator for counter-terrorism policing, declared it a terrorist incident. Prime Minister Theresa May will chair a meeting of Britain’s emergency response committee later on Friday, her office 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,” London police said in a statement.

Pictures taken at the scene showed a white bucket with a supermarket freezer bag on the floor of one train carriage. The bucket was in flames and there appeared to be wires coming out of the top.

“I was on second carriage from the back. I just heard a kind of whoosh. I looked up and saw the whole carriage engulfed in flames making its way towards me,” Ola Fayankinnu, who was on the train, told Reuters.