TAIPEI, Taiwan — An explosion engulfed a Taiwanese commuter train car in flames late Thursday, injuring 21 people, some of them seriously, Taiwan’s official news agency said.
Taiwanese police said they suspected the blast in the capital of Taipei was caused by an explosive in the train car, the island’s Central News Agency reported.
The explosive appeared to be 15 to 20 centimeters (6-8 inches) long and looked like a firecracker, said the news agency, citing the director of Taiwan’s National Police Agency, Chen Kuo-en.
Police bomb squad chief Lee Tzu-wen told local television networks that investigators found “a 15 centimeter-long, broken metal tube stuffed with explosive material inside a black backpack” that they believed caused the blast.
The self-ruled island’s premier, Lin Chuan, ordered government agencies to form a team to investigate the blast, the Central News Agency said.
“It looks like someone did it on purpose,” Lin told journalists. “We will make our best efforts to investigate this case. Please rest assured that we will provide effective and efficient security for all passengers.”
Reports cited witnesses as saying they heard a loud explosion before the train carriage burst into flames.