An explosion at the Parsons Green Underground train station during rush hour in London is being investigated as a terror incident. U.S. President Donald Trump quickly reacted to the attack, tweeting that a “loser terrorist” is to blame. He also used it as another opportunity to push for tougher treatment of terrorists.
“Another attack in London by a loser terrorist.These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive,” the president wrote. “Loser terrorists must be dealt with in a much tougher manner.The internet is their main recruitment tool which we must cut off & use better!”
Trump didn’t elaborate on what he meant by “sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard.” London police told CNN that this was “pure speculation given we don’t know who is involved. Any speculation is unhelpful.”
Trump then tweeted about his controversial travel ban. “The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific-but stupidly, that would not be politically correct,” he wrote. “We have made more progress in the last nine months against ISIS than the Obama Administration has made in 8 years.Must be proactive & nasty!”
The BBC reports that the blast happened at about 8:20 BST at the Parsons Green station. Pictures on social media show the “improvised explosive device” in a shopping bag, with wires trailing from it, on the Tube train’s floor. The train was an eastbound District Line train from Wimbledon. The London Ambulance Service said 18 patients were taken to a nearby hospital. The National Health Service later updated the number to 22 patients.
Metropolitan Police tweeted that the incident was declared a “terrorist incident, adding, “Too early to confirm cause of fire – now subject to the investigation that is underway. Station remains cordoned off. Please avoid the area.”
“The tube had just pulled into the station, and as the doors were opening there was a loud explosion and ball of flame which moved along the corridor of the train just where I was,” eyewitness Martin Abams, who was riding in the subway car, told ABC News. “I looked back and saw a bit of confusion with people rushing to get off the train. I saw a blue bag, with some smoke, and flames, which appeared to be coming out of the bag.”
A government official told ABC News that it appears to be an isolated incident. An eyewitness added that there were no fatalities. The London Ambulance Service also said that none of the injuries are life-threatening.
“My thoughts are with those injured at Parsons Green and emergency services who are responding bravely to this terrorist incident,” U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted.
“Our city utterly condemns the hideous individuals who attempt to use terror to harm us and destroy our way of life,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement. “As London has proven again and again, we will never be intimidated or defeated by terrorism.”
Trump’s reaction to the incident is similar to his comments after a June attack in London. In that case, he also used the incident to write about the travel ban before offering his condolences to the people of London. “We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety,” he wrote on June 3. Trump then criticized Khan for telling Londoners that there was “no reason to be alarmed,” a comment Khan said Trump took out of context.