Pictures show fireball ripping through Tube carriage after Parsons Green bomb detonated

Ellen Manning

This is the moment a fireball ripped through a Tube Train during the Parsons Green bombing, leaving passengers with terrible burns, melting their clothes and singeing their hair.

CCTV images released by police show the horrific scenes that erupted after the explosion on the District Line train during rush hour on September 15 last year.

Footage, shown to jurors as commuters gave their accounts of the horrific incident at the trial of suspected bomber Ahmed Hassan, shows 93 passengers on the train racing to get off after the blast tore through their carriage, abandoning bags and purses to flee the station.

<em>Fireball – CCTV shows a fireball tearing through the tube carriage after the Parsons Green bomb detonated (Pictures: Metropolitan Police/PA)</em>
Fireball – CCTV shows a fireball tearing through the tube carriage after the Parsons Green bomb detonated (Pictures: Metropolitan Police/PA)

Teenage asylum seeker Hassan, 18, denies attempted murder and using the chemical compound TATP to cause an explosion that was likely to endanger life on September 15 last year.

His trial at the Old Bailey has heard he left the bomb containing 400g of explosives and shrapnel on the floor, having got off one stop earlier.

<em>Accused – teenage Asylum Seeker Ahmed Hassan is accused of building the bomb and planting it on the train</em>
Accused – teenage Asylum Seeker Ahmed Hassan is accused of building the bomb and planting it on the train

Commuter Stephen Nash told jurors he was reading a newspaper, “oblivious” to what was going on, when there was a “blinding flash” and he was “engulfed in flames”.

He said: “I was thrown to the ground. The flames were overwhelming. It was intense heat. I thought I had lost my ears. I thought my head was on fire.”

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Retired counter-terrorism officer Alex Beavan said: “I heard a huge popping sound. Looking towards the direction of the sound, I saw a rolling fireball coming over the ceiling at the back of the train.

“Everything goes in slow motion. There was a woman. I could see her realise what was happening and she began screaming and some men were shouting ‘Run’.”

<em>Blast – commuters described seeing the fireball moving through the carriage</em>
Blast – commuters described seeing the fireball moving through the carriage

Lucinda Glazebrook suffered serious burns when she was hit by the “fireball”.

She said: “I kept touching my face and feeling the back of my hair and my hair was coming out in chunks, and I asked somebody if my face was burnt, because I couldn’t see it but I felt the heat from the fireball so I was scared of the damage that it had done to my face.”

Aimee Colville got on the District line train seconds before she heard a “loud bang” and “cracking”.

She said: “Then the next thing, there was a bit of a shudder and then a wall of glass came across. That morning I had curled my hair and I had put hairspray in my hair so when the flames came over me my hair immediately caught fire.”

<em>Terror – passengers were faced with horrific scenes as they tried to flee the train</em>
Terror – passengers were faced with horrific scenes as they tried to flee the train

A witness, who referred to herself as Miss S, wept when she told how her tights melted as the fire got through to her legs and face, causing significant scarring.

Army officer Craig Palmer, who is trained in handling explosives and improvised explosive devices (IED), said he expected there to be “a suicide bomber, or parts of a bomber”.

He told jurors he realised it was no “hoax” when he saw wires sticking out of what he thought was an IED.

As well as the dramatic CCTV footage, jurors were shown Hassan’s route on the day of the bombing.

The court has heard how Hassan allegedly used a “student of the year” prize to buy the key chemical for his bomb on Amazon.

The Iraqi asylum seeker, who told immigration authorities that Islamic State trained him to kill, allegedly assembled the device while his foster parents in Sunbury-on-Thames in Surrey were on holiday in Blackpool.

<em>Footage – the CCTV images show teenage asylum seeker Ahmed Hassan getting on a train at Sunbury station before the Parsons Green bomb was detonated</em>
Footage – the CCTV images show teenage asylum seeker Ahmed Hassan getting on a train at Sunbury station before the Parsons Green bomb was detonated

He allegedly packed it with shrapnel to cause maximum damage, buying the metal items from Asda and Aldi in Feltham the day before.

When Hassan was tracked down in Dover, Kent, the day after the bombing, he admitted he was responsible.

Prosecutor Alison Morgan has said experts concluded it was a case of “luck” that the bomb did not fully detonate.