Scotland Yard, MI5 hunt for those behind London subway bombing

World Today

Fire brigade officers walk within a cordon near where an incident happened, that police say they are investigating as a terrorist attack, at Parsons Green subway station in London, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. A bucket wrapped in an insulated bag caught fire on a packed London subway train Friday, sending commuters stampeding in panic at the height of the morning rush hour. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

A massive manhunt is underway in London following the explosion of a homemade bomb aboard a packed commuter train. At least 29 people were injured in what police have said was a terrorist attack.

CGTN’s Richard Bestic reports from the scene in West London.

The bomb was contained in a plastic bucket left in the carriage of a subway train. Witnesses said they heard an explosion and saw a fireball, after which thousands of commuters ran for their lives in panic.

“All I see is just like hundreds of people just running out… people are shouting and screaming, so I just run out,” witness Olaniyi Shokunbi recounted.

Within minutes, the entire area around the West London train station was in lockdown. Police forensic officers then began a painstaking examination of the scene.

A handout picture obtained from the twitter user @RRigs shows a white container burning inside a London Underground tube carriage on September 15, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / HO / @RRIGS)

Officials believe the bomb may have partially detonated earlier than the attackers planned. This offers Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command the possibility that clues may exist which will help identity the terrorists.

Prime Minister Theresa May immediately condemned the attack, and called an emergency meeting of ministers and intelligence chiefs.

“The police and security services are obviously doing all the work to discover the full circumstances of this cowardly attack, and to identify those responsible,” the prime minister said.

Scotland Yard said hundreds of officers across the U.K. capital are involved in the manhunt for those responsible, including Britain’s domestic security service MI5.

“There are many urgent inquiries ongoing now with hundreds of detectives involved looking at CCTV, forensic work and speaking to witnesses,” according to Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley. “This investigation is supported by our colleagues from MI5 and bringing their intelligence expertise to bear on the case.”

The initial stages of this investigation will have a dual focus: picking through the remains of the bomb for fingerprints or traces of DNA, while also searching hundreds of hours of surveillance footage.

Peter Vincent discusses the latest on the London attack

CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke with Peter Vincent, a terrorism expert and former U.S. Department of Homeland Security official, about the latest on the London attack.