Taiwan: Explosion on train injures 25 people, police identify suspects

  • AFP, Taipei
  • Updated: Jul 08, 2016 13:18 IST
A bomb squad officer in protective gear is seen entering the inside of a train carriage that was involved in a blast in Taipei on July 8, 2016. (AFP)

Taiwan police said today they had identified “several” possible suspects after an explosion on a train in Taipei injured 25 people but they ruled out a terrorist attack.

Police said the blast which hit the train late Thursday as it was pulling into a station appeared to have been caused by a pipe bomb.

Of those injured -- 14 male and 11 female -- five were in critical condition, according to the National Police Agency.

“We are currently conducting a full investigation,” Wang Pao-chang, head of the agency’s Taipei branch, told reporters.

“We are preliminarily ruling it out as a terrorist attack,” he said, adding that so far there had been no claim of responsibility for the attack.

Police said a 47-centimetre steel pipe filled with explosive material appeared to be the cause of the blast.

Wang said it was a “roughly made” improvised explosive.

A red bag found in the carriage’s toilet was also believed to be connected to the case.

Premier Lin Chuan said the blast was caused by someone with “malicious intent”.

Local media quoted eyewitnesses saying they had seen a man carry a black rectangle-shaped object onto the train.

Images from inside the train carriage showed shattered glass on the floor and part of a side wall blackened by flames.

Passengers rushed off the train once it reached the station, many of them suffering from burns.

“I saw fire from the lights and I heard a sound and my hair was on fire,” one woman told a local news channel.

The last major attack on Taipei’s public transit was when a college student killed four people in a stabbing spree in 2014 on the metro, shocking the island and prompting a security overhaul.

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