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Blast on passenger train injures 25 in Taiwan

8 July 2016 15:11

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An explosion has ripped through a busy passenger train in Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, injuring 25 people, some of them critically, police say.

The explosion shook the train at Taipei’s Songshan station before midnight on Thursday, according to Taiwan’s official Central News Agency.

Those wounded, 13 male and 12 female, were rushed to hospital for treatment. Two of the victims were in serious condition.

They said a broken steel tube had been found at the scene, which was suspected to be an explosive.

Police bomb squad chief Lee Tzu-wen said investigators found “a 15cm-long, broken metal tube stuffed with explosive material inside a black backpack” that could have caused the blast.

Commuters, however, said the explosives were believed to have contained gun powder.

Witnesses told the news agency that they saw a man in his 40s walking into a coach of the train and placing a “black, long-shaped object” on the train just before the blast.

Another police official also said “several” possible suspects had been identified after the incident.

“We are currently conducting a full investigation,” said Wang Pao-chang, head of the agency’s Taipei branch, adding, “We are preliminarily ruling it out as a terrorist attack.”

Taiwan’s Prime Minster Lin Chuan also said the blast appeared to be a deliberate “act of malice.”

“It looks like someone did it on purpose,” Lin said. “We will make our best efforts to investigate this case.”

He paid visit to some of the victims at the hospital. Among the victims, four are seriously injured, including a 14-year-old boy who sustained second to third-degree burns on his face.

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