‘My coat was burning and my tights had melted’: Parsons Green Tube bomb victim tells of fireball

Tristan Kirk
The aftermath of the attempted Tube bombing at Parsons Green

A victim of the Parsons Green Tube bombing broke down in tears today as she relived the moment she was badly burned in the blast.

The woman, who was referred to in court as Miss S, suffered burns to her hands, face, and legs when an improvised explosive detonated on the District line train.

The Old Bailey heard that she was engulfed in a fireball as it ripped through the carriage on September 15 last year and still bears scars from the incident.

Giving evidence from behind a screen, the woman said she heard a “very loud bang” when the bomb went off. “I heard a bang and people screaming,” she said. “I saw people running and I think I saw fire.”

Iraqi asylum seeker Ahmed Hassan, 18, is accused of planting the homemade bomb on the train

She told the court she was knocked to her knees as she fled the train in panic, and then noticed her clothes had caught fire. “My coat was burning and my tights had melted,” she said, wiping away tears.

Iraqi asylum seeker Ahmed Hassan, 18, is accused of planting the homemade bomb on the train during the morning rush hour.

Miss S told the jury she had noticed a man with an “odd-looking” bag in the carriage but did not notice when he got off the train.

Hassan, 18, is accused of packing shrapnel into a plastic bucket containing 400g of explosives then leaving it to go off on a timer (PA)

Aimee Colville, another commuter, told the court she also heard a “bang” and the train shook, before she saw a “wall of glass” fly across the carriage. She said she either fell or was knocked to the floor, then “noticed flames coming over my right side, coming over my face”.

Ms Colville said she had put on hair spray that morning and felt her hair catching fire. She fled the station to seek help.

This morning jurors saw CCTV footage of the moment the fireball tore through the carriage, which contained 93 people. Cameras showed flames briefly filling the carriage before commuters fled the train at about 8.20am.

A plastic bottle of acid on top of table in conservatory which Ahmed Hassan allegedly bought on Amazon to make explosives (PA)

It is alleged that Hassan built the bomb at his foster home in Sunbury in Surrey, using chemicals he had bought online and packed with shrapnel to cause maximum injury.

He allegedly took the bomb, in a bucket inside a Lidl shopping bag, from his home to Wimbledon station where he armed it using a modified kitchen timer. He then planted the bomb on a train heading to Edgware Road before getting off at Putney Bridge. The device partially detonated at the following stop, Parsons Green.

Jurors have heard that Hassan sneaked into the UK in October 2015 on the back of a lorry through the Channel Tunnel, and then claimed asylum because of his treatment in his native Iraq.

He told Home Office investigators in January 2016 he had been recruited by Islamic State in Iraq and “trained to kill”, but claimed he was forced into joining the extremist group by threats to his family.

Hassan, who was arrested the day after the bombing in Dover, denies attempted murder and causing an explosion likely to endanger life or damage property.

The trial continues.

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