Tuesday 17 October 2017

Irish person injured in London terror attack, department confirms

Armed British police officers stand on duty outside Parsons Green underground tube station in west London on September 15, 2017, following an incident on an underground tube carriage at the station.
Armed British police officers stand on duty outside Parsons Green underground tube station in west London on September 15, 2017, following an incident on an underground tube carriage at the station.

Gavin White

One Irish person was injured as they were caught up in a terror attack in London, the Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed.

A spokesperson for the department said: “We can confirm one Irish person was injured in the attack.”

The person was offered consular assistance by the Department of Foreign Affairs but refused the offer as it was believed the injury was minor.

Another Irish person, Dubliner Rory Rigney (37), was also caught up in the attack but was fortunate to avoid injury.

“There was bang, it wasn’t massively loud. Then a scream. I looked down the corridor and there was a big flash of light coming down,” he told the Guardian.

“My immediate reaction was just to jump. So the doors were still open, so I jumped out. I tried to get as far away as possible, kind of got on the ground and covered myself.

“Looked back and there were so many people trying to get out they were falling on top of each other so there was a real crush at the door,” he added.

“People just panicking, getting away, and there was a lot of screaming. For the next 30 seconds to a minute, people were on the ground. They didn’t know what to do. There was a lot of fear.

“But then a minute or so passed, and people were wondering just what actually happened,” he said.

Britain is on the highest terror alert with the military set to bolster security as police hunt the Parsons Green bomb "suspects".

Prime Minister Theresa May has raised the threat level to critical, meaning another attack is expected imminently.

A manhunt is under way after the improvised explosive device (IED) sent a fireball through a packed London Underground train carriage in south west London during the Friday morning rush-hour.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley suggested there may have been more than one person involved stating that police were "chasing down suspects".

In a statement outside Scotland Yard, the UK's most senior anti-terror police officer said: "Somebody has planted an improvised explosive device on the Tube - we have to be open-minded at this stage about him and about potential associates."

The Islamic State (IS) terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack through its Amaq news agency, according to the US-based Site Intelligence.

It is the second time this year that the threat assessment - made by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre - has been raised to the highest level.

It was placed at critical in May in the wake of the Manchester bombing, before being lowered back to severe four days later.

Before this year the most serious category had only been reached on two other occasions since it was first publicly disclosed in August 2006.

Additional Reporting by Press Association

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