Witness says boy lost younger brother in London explosionby Richard Bailey 15/09/2017 19:50:00 0 comments 1 Views
- Boy was one of the passengers who were caught up in a stampede to leave train
- Commuters were exposed to a 'very, very hot fire' before jumping from carriage
- Passengers and pregnant woman crushed in a 'stampede' as people fled in panic
- Another witness likened the scene to a 'horror film' as people ran for their lives
- Were you caught up in the attack? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
By Amie Gordon and Katie French and Rory Tingle For Mailonline
Published: 05:39 EDT, 15 September 2017 | Updated: 19:50 EDT, 15 September 2017
Commuters have described their horror at seeing a little boy who lost his younger brother in the chaos of the Parsons Green Tube attack, which left 29 people injured.
The 11-year-old was one of the rush hour passengers who were caught up in a stampede as terrified people fled fearing the 'whole train would blow up'.
Olaniyi Shokunbi, 24, boarded the tube at Putney Bridge and had been listening to music when he saw people scrambling off the train.
He said: 'There were people on the floor, there was a little boy, I really felt sorry for him, he couldn't have been more than 11.
'He had scratches on his head, he was looking for his little brother. I was going to go back into the train station but a woman said 'don't go back in there, there's people on the floor'.
Another witness saw a pregnant woman who had been knocked over in the stampede, and said he had to 'try really hard' not to crush her.
A witness tweeted this picture of a young boy said to have lost his brother in the aftermath
This photo - taken from a video - shows a child being carried away by paramedics following the Parsons Green attack
It is not clear whether or not boy, who is shown with his face obscured, was the younger brother of the boy pictured at the top of the article
People in the area this morning were crushed by terrified crowds. Pictured, paramedics treating a victim at the scene
A police officer escorts an injured woman from the scene at Parsons Green Underground Station
Other commuters at the scene said they were 'thrown around and crushed' by panicked crowds shouting 'there's a man, there's a man' before running from the area
Peter Crowley, who was travelling on the District Line this morning, said his head has been 'charred' after a fireball engulfed his train
Counter terror police confirmed this morning the incident at Parson's Green is being treated as a terror attack as they evacuated people from the area
Peter Crowley, who was travelling on the District Line this morning, said his head has been 'charred' after a fireball engulfed the train at Parsons Green in west London.
Emma Stevie, 27, said people were crushed as they lay on the floor while commuters tried to flee the station.
Another passenger likened the scene to a horror film, adding there was 'a mass of people with horrified faces literally running for their lives.'
'I HOPE THEY DON'T BLAME MUSLIMS'
A teenager whose sister was caught up in the terror attack said he hopes the public 'won't blame Muslims'.
Eighteen-year-old Mahmoud Almesaouil said his younger sibling was on the way to her sixth form college this morning when the device exploded.
While he is concerned that the bomber is on the run, he said he hopes the public won't made judgements.
Speaking to MailOnline he said: 'I hope they won't blame Muslims for this, I hope they don't say it is a Muslim problem. Islam condemns terrorism. Terrorism has no religion.'
The teenager, who is off to study at Kingston University next week, said it had changed the area for him. 'It's very safe, you don't expect it.'
He has not been able to return to his home above Parson's Green Tube Station since the incident.
Eight victims of the terror attack have been treated at a specialist burns unit in Central London.
Paramedics rushed the injured commuters to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. In all 18 were injured in the blast - with many more injured in the subsequent panic and stampede out of the underground station.
Dozens of commuters made a '100 metre sprint' after a large flash engulfed the 8.20am train as it pulled into Parsons Green station.
Emma Stevie told the BBC: 'We got on the train at Parsons Green, then I heard lots of screams and people saying 'run, run'. We got out and then there was a human stampede, down the stairs.
'There were people lying underneath getting crushed, a big human pile-on. I wedged myself in next to a railing. I put myself in the foetal position. I kept thinking, 'I'll be ok, I'll be ok'.
'There was a pregnant woman underneath me, and I was trying really hard not to crush her. The fire brigade was telling us to get back on the platform, but no-one was.
'The injuries from the stampede seemed the worst. I'm outside now, there are women crying and people sitting on the floor.'
Father-of-one Paul was making his way to work in Kensington when the bomb was detonated.
The 40-year-old told MailOnline: 'I was in my own world in a bit of a daze. Everyone had taken the seats and I walked down the carriage to get a seat.
It really was like a horror film. I don't remember hearing a bang. There was just a mass of people, horrified faces. Literally running for their lives.
'I suddenly started hearing screaming and shouting and looked up and saw a stampede coming towards me, shouting 'bomb'.
'We were still moving and hadn't pulled into Parsons Green. There was just a smell of burning.
'The doors opened and everyone just spilled out. Everyone was in flight – they didn't know what they were doing, pushing others – kids - out the way in sheer panic.
'We arranged ourselves and sorted it out as a group. Then we were all stuck at the top of the steps on the platform. We couldn't go anywhere. Everybody on the platform was really distressed.
'There was a little boy about five, it must've been his first week of school and he was obviously terrified. The most distressing thing was seeing a little boy distressed with his mother.
Mr Charley said: 'I saw passengers with facial burns, they had been exposed to a very, very hot fire for a nano second, it was lucky doors were open because everyone just got off the tube'
Dozens of commuters made a '100 metre sprint' after a large flash engulfed the 8.20am train as it pulled into Parsons Green station
'I looked around and saw all these people burnt, foreheads were red.
'I said to a woman her hair was burnt off but her face was ok but she was very distressed. She said the fire ball went up past her head height to the ceiling.
'Then the first police officers came flying up the stairs with their rifles shouting at us to get down.
'There were tons of firefighters, ambulances, armed police. It was very reassuring to see them there so quickly.
'It really hit me at work when I realised it was a terror attack.'
Passengers jumped off the train in terror as the device was detonated
And Peter Crowley told the BBC: 'I heard a large bang from the doors on the other side of the tube train and this fireball came towards my heard and singed off all my hair – I have got burn marks at the top of my head. Everyone just ran off the train, it was quite scary.
'It was a really hot intense fireball above my head, I've just got red marks and burns to the top of my head. There were a lot of people a lot worse than me.
'I saw a gentleman opposite me in a puffer jacket and the whole back of that had been burned where the intense heat had got to it – he had burn marks across his face which are looking a lot worse than mine.
'There were a lot of people in shock, a lot of people visibly upset. Mostly it was facial injuries, burns rather than cuts.
'It was like nothing I have ever seen before – sheer panic. Everyone jumped off the train, everyone initial reaction was to look back and assess the situation. It was just sheer panic.
'It was busy but it was movable, it was busy for that time of day. I am just going to the hospital shortly.'
Emergency services were at the scene within minutes of the terror attack
People stand by an ambulance near Parsons Green tube station
He added: 'It was a terrifying experience, I am lucky I got away with just a bit of charred hair'
Counter terror police confirmed this morning the incident at Parson's Green is being treated as a terror attack
Accountant Sarah Hickson, 31, who was on her way to work said she was 'thrown around and crushed' by panicked crowds.
She said: 'People just started shouting 'there's a man, there's a man' and everyone started running. It was just sheer panic.
'There were two people in front of me, a pregnant woman and a schoolboy.
'They were being crushed on the concrete stairs, TfL staff were doing their best to get control but everyone was screaming trying to get out.
'Eventually they managed to get some calm and people moved ever so slightly back allowing the boy and pregnant woman to get up.'
She added: 'I am physically okay but shaken up, it was a scary experience.'
People reported being crushed on the concrete stairs with TfL staff were doing their best to get control
Witnesses said 'In the immediate seconds there were people running and shouting, it was just like where do you run to?'
Video editor Luke Walmsley, 33, saw a woman with the skin of both her legs removed by the fire.
He also claims a ten-year-old boy suffered injuries and everybody had similar burns to their faces and hair.
Mr Walmsley said: 'There was a really acrid burning smell that came out of the carriage.
'We were three-quarters of a carriage away; there was screaming and then running as it pulled into Parsons Green - that was when it happened. It was coming to a standstill.
'In the immediate seconds there were people running and shouting, it was just like where do you run to?
'We did not know what was going on, there was a girl who had serious burns to her leg and there was a 10-year-old boy who had burns to his ankle.
'People were rushing down the platform, everyone was doing a 100m sprint. There was a flash at the end of the carriage that came down the train.
'There were lots of injuries from people being trampled on and everyone who had been close to it had the same burns to their head.
'We heard the first scream and then looked down and saw a flash and then the smoke and people running.
People on their way to work were 'thrown around and crushed' by panicked crowds
Emma Stevie said: 'We got on the train at Parsons Green, then I heard lots of screams and people saying 'run, run'. We got out and then there was a human stampede, down the stairs'
'It was complete pandemonium, complete terror. They didn't open the gates and the underground did not understand what was going on.
'People were shouting 'he's got a knife! He's got a knife!' I didn't see anyone with a knife.
'It was the school run and there were a lot of kids in school uniform and mums and nannies trying to work out where their kids were.
'The explosion was like a large match going off at the end of the carriage. When people started running there was then the smell of burnt people.
'There were more than 30 people injured, it was a full carriage and everyone had something wrong with them.
'There was this girl who had no skin on her leg, whatever she had been wearing was just gone.
'And there was another girl whose back garment was gone and her hair was gone. It was a packed commuter train.'
Eyewitnesses claim at least 30 commuters including school children were injured after a homemade bomb exploded on a packed commuter train
Panicked commuters initially thought there had been an acid attack on the train
One man said he had seen people lying on the floor covered in blood
Flames engulfed one carriage and raced along a train on a west London route to Parsons Green, forcing passengers to trample others as they rushed for an exit
Couple Lucy, 24 and Fabin, 29, were on their way to work when the explosion happened.
Lucy, who works in PR, said: 'We just heard screaming and sprinting, there was a stampede on the stairs and people were falling over, there was a schoolboy being lifted up after he had fallen down, he was in his school uniform, he must have been about ten, he was crying and distressed.'
Speaking to local radio Peter Crowley added: 'I would personally say roughly about 20 who had physical injuries a lot of people who were shaken by the incident.
'I wasn't aware of the bag, I tend to keep myself to myself, I was side on to where I believe the incident happened.
'That side of my hair is charred. There was a lot powder as if it was a high pressure tube that had some coating on it.'
He added: 'Everyone ran off the tube, it was panic stations, my initial thought was that the whole train would blow up.
'I saw passengers with facial burns, they had been exposed to a very, very hot fire for a nano second, it was lucky doors were open because everyone just got off the tube.
'It was a terrifying experience, I am lucky I got away with just a bit of charred hair.'
Merton Council Councillor Daniel Holden was on the train that exploded this morning said there are 'quite a few people injured'
Armed Police, paramedics and firefighters were all said to be at the west London station within five minutes of the explosion
Merton Council Councillor Daniel Holden was on the train that exploded this morning said there are 'quite a few people injured.'
He said: 'I was one carriage away when it happened. It was like a fireball had just hit, everyone was screaming and panicking. Everyone was trying to push their way off the train.'
'There's hundreds of police, fire brigade and ambulance here now.'
Mr Holden said he wasn't injured in the explosion, but saw a few people who were.
UBER HELPS STRICKEN RAIL PASSENGERS
Uber has confirmed it is helping people affected by tube cancellations.
The company tweeted this morning: 'We are aware of an incident at Parsons Green.
'We have turned off dynamic pricing and will refund all journeys from the affected area. '
'They're treating a few people who look quite injured,' he said.
A director of Ride Republic, an exercise studio near Parsons Green station, said armed police led an evacuation of his building.
Around 15 to 20 people were rushed from a cycling spin class, he said.
He said: 'We had one client come back to our studio after a class at around 8.25am and she said there had been a terrorist incident, she was quite shaken up.
'Our front of house staff took that in and closed and locked the door. Within 10 minutes three or four police cars arrived outside the studio.
'A staff member went outside to check if we should leave and then another police officer came in and said we need to leave now.
'Someone from the front of house came into the class, which had the music going, and said 'shut off the music'.