Asia

Taiwan train explosion: Suspect named after 25 hurt

An injured man is helped by emergency rescue workers after an explosion on a passenger train in Taipei, Taiwan, Thursday, July 7, 2016 Image copyright AP
Image caption An injured man, one of 25 hurt by the blast, is helped by emergency rescue workers

Police in Taiwan have named a man who they think was responsible for injuring more than 20 people by setting off a pipe bomb on a busy train.

The suspect, 55-year-old Lin Ying-chang, was seriously injured and is still unconscious.

Police reportedly matched his fingerprints to one found on part of the exploded device, which was found near him on the commuter train.

The blast happened on Thursday in Taiwan's capital, Taipei.

The motives behind the blast remain unclear.

It is also not yet clear whether the bomb was the work of a group or of one person acting alone.

The blast hit a train as it was coming in to Songshan station at about 22:00 local time (14:00 GMT) and left some passengers badly burned.

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Media captionMore than twenty people were injured in the explosion

Including Mr Lin, 25 people were injured. Police said on Friday that five people were seriously hurt.

They said Mr Lin was in a critical condition with burns to his lungs and was being kept alive on an artificial respirator.

"As he suffered serious injuries he is unable to speak, so we are not yet able to make further interrogations," said Wang Pao-chang, head of the National Police Agency's Taipei branch.

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

One part of the tube was found on the train while the other was found on the tracks.

In a statement, police said that the suspect's clothing and shoes were marked with gunpowder, and that DNA on a canvas bag found in the train's toilet matched his.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Investigators told the media they had found a "15cm-long, broken metal tube stuffed with explosive material"
Image copyright AP
Image caption Many passengers were left with burns after the blast
Image copyright AP
Image caption The explosion spread panic through the train and left several seriously injured

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.

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

Other eyewitnesses cited in local media reported seeing a man carry a rectangular object onto the train carriage, and police say two people saw a middle-aged man make a pulling motion with a tube-shaped object just before the explosion.

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