Asia

Many injured in Taiwan train blast

Injured people are helped by emergency rescue workers outside a station after an explosion on a passenger train in Taipei, Taiwan, Thursday, July 7, 2016 Image copyright AP
Image caption Many commuters were left with burns after the blast

An explosion ripped through a busy commuter train in Taiwan's capital, Taipei, late on Thursday injuring at least 24 people, police say.

The blast hit a train at Taipei's Songshan station before midnight leaving some passengers badly burned.

Police told local media they found a broken tube with explosive material inside that looked like a firecracker.

Premier Lin Chuan told media it appeared "malicious" but police have not ruled out an accident.

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Media captionTwenty one people were injured in the explosion
Image copyright AP
Image caption Flames engulfed one of the carriages on the train at Songshan station
Image copyright AP
Image caption The explosion spread panic through the train and left several seriously injured
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Police are still continuing their investigation after be blast

Police bomb squad chief Lee Tzu-wen told local media that investigators found "a 15cm-long, broken metal tube stuffed with explosive material inside a black backpack" that they believe could have caused the blast.

"There was a blast and the carriage went dark. People were panicking and screaming," one passenger is quoted as telling a local news channel.

Other eyewitnesses cited in local media reported seeing a man carry a rectangular object onto the train carriage shortly before the explosion.

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