Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, has condemned a suspected terror attack on a crowded tube train in West London during rush hour this morning, offering his prayers to all affected.
Twenty-two people were injured when an "improvised explosive device" was detonated on a tube at Parson’s Green station at 8.20 am this morning (15 September). Most of those injured were treated for "flash burns".
“I am dismayed at yet another cowardly attack on innocent people, including young children, as they were commuting to work and school this morning,” Cardinal Nichols said in a statement released shortly after the attack.
“I pray for all who were injured in the blast and in the ensuing stampede, and for all who were affected by the incident. May God grant them and all Londoners peace and strengthen our resolve to stand against such evil acts,” continued the statement.
The Cardinal also praised the men and women of the emergency services who tended to the victims, and the residents and businesses near the station who offered them safety and comfort.
“The generous actions of those who rushed to tend to the wounded and those who were in shock demonstrate all that is good in humanity as a small number seek to divide our society. We should all be alert, but remain calm,” the Cardinal said.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby tweeted: 'Praying for all those caught up in this morning's terror incident at #ParsonsGreen, especially those who have sustained injuries or trauma.'
Several people were injured when flames reportedly erupted from the device, which was hidden in a plastic bucket, causing burns, and a number of other people are said to have been injured in the ensuing stampede.
In a statement shortly before 10.30am, Scotland Yard confirmed they were treating the incident as a suspected terror attack.
A manhunt has been launched for the bomber, with police working with MI5 as they forensically examine the device. No arrests have so far been made.
Armed police and specialist officers have remained on the scene. The station remains cordoned off and police are advising people to avoid the area.
Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the "cowardly" attack, which she said had "intended to cause significant harm”.
Speaking earlier on Friday in Downing Street after chairing a meeting go the Cobra emergency committee, she said the UK's terror threat level would remain at severe - the second highest - but would be under review.