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People 'ran for their lives'

Reports of man dumping rucksack

A woman is evacuated from Oval Tube station, south London.



Great Britain

LONDON, England (CNN) -- London's public reacted with shock as they were confronted for the second time in two weeks with explosions, smoke and panic on a subway train -- and another blast aboard a London bus.

At Oval station there were reports of a man dumping a rucksack in a carriage then fleeing as the doors closed.

A witness told Sky News he heard a sound "like champagne popping" then passengers erupting in panic.

"As far as I know from what a lady at the top of the escalator was saying, someone came into the carriage, dumped the bag and ran out. Some people tried to stop him but he ran out."

He said: "I was in the carriage next to the one where the bag was. All of a sudden there was a popping, it sounded like champagne popping. I didn't think anything of it at the time but then I heard a lot of shouting from the next door carriage.

"People started saying, `Smoke, smoke'. One of the train guys came through and said `Get off the train, we're evacuating, everyone out'.

"As we were walking past the carriage we could see the bag sitting on the chair. It was a big, black rucksack, like the backpack-type ones that you get. "When they got upstairs, people were really distressed, one lady was crying."

Another witness gave a similar picture of a would-be bomber running away after dropping a rucksack on the train.

The bombs which killed 56 people on board three underground trains and a bus in London on July 7 were carried in rucksacks, police said.

"It sounded like a balloon had popped but a lot louder and then we all moved to one end of the carriage. There was something on the floor and you could see something had exploded.

"We moved through -- they opened the door so we could move through to the next carriage and there was a guy still standing in the carriage.

"And then we pulled into Oval, we all got off on the platform and the guy just ran and started running up the escalator.

"Everyone was screaming for someone to stop him. He ran past me and I kind of stood in one of the alcoves and he ran out of the station. In fact he left a bag on the train."

Another man who was in the Warren Street train told CNN of the screaming and shouting as travelers "ran for their lives."

"It started to smell like rubber or wire," said the unidentified man. "It got a bit worse. And then suddenly people started screaming and shouting and running to get to the second carriage.

"But from the smell I could tell it was in our carriage because presumably the person who ran first from the carriage must have been sitting next to something.

"I saw people running for their lives and there was no room for me to get away to the next carriage. There no way I could get away from it. All I did is say a prayer and wait for it to happen."

Another unidentified man told CNN: "I was in the carriage, I was reading my book going northbound on the Victoria Line when we suddenly smelled burning wires and then suddenly everybody started to panic and running from the carriage to the next carriage..."

"And there was screams everywhere and I have with me in my hand some shoes of people who had left them behind. One lady, she left both her shoes -- I think she went home with bare feet or something.

"And there was nowhere you could get out of the carriage because the door is so narrow. One thing came to my mind is -- just wait for it to happen. I knew it was a bomb and I said my prayers and just waited for it to happen."

Losiane Mohellavi, 35, who was evacuated at Warren Street underground station, told The Associated Press. "Everyone was panicked and people were screaming. We had to pull the alarm. I am still shaking."

Ivan McCracken, another passenger at Warren Street, told Sky News that another passenger at Warren Street claimed he had seen a backpack explode.

McCracken said he smelled smoke and that people were panicking and coming into his carriage. He said he spoke to an Italian man who was comforting a woman after the evacuation.

"He said that a man was carrying a rucksack and the rucksack suddenly exploded. It was a minor explosion but enough to blow open the rucksack," McCracken said.

"The man then made an exclamation as if something had gone wrong. At that point everyone rushed from the carriage."

At Shepherd's Bush Tube station, the whole area -- including shops, offices, and pubs -- was cleared by police.

Bryce Elder, a witness near the Shepherd's Bush station, said there was a heavy police presence but "no real sense of panic."

Stephen Himble, 30, from Colliers Wood, south London, said he had been nearby when the evacuation began at around 12:25 p.m.. He said officers had arrived and begun to section off the station.

"They just said there was an incident," he said. He added: "I was a little bit nervous, but they moved us out so quickly that it was okay. They've done extremely well and it's under control."

A bus company told Reuters that a blast blew out windows on a bus in Hackney, east London, but a police officer on the scene said there were no signs of damage.

"The bus driver heard a bang at the back of the bus," the officer told Reuters. "He thought it was probably a vehicle that had hit him. He stopped at a nearby bus stop and saw a suspect package at the back of the bus."

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