clock menu more-arrow no yes

Explosive devices found at 3 major London transit hubs

Authorities say so far, no one has been injured.

A police officer stands guard outside a police cordon at Waterloo Station, central London on March 5, 2019, following a report of a suspicious package at the station.
A police officer stands guard outside a police cordon at Waterloo Station, central London, on March 5, 2019, following a report of a suspicious package at the station.
Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

Counterterrorism police in the United Kingdom are investigating three packages containing explosives that were discovered Tuesday near three major transportation hubs in London: Heathrow Airport, London City Airport, and Waterloo Station.

The Metropolitan Police Service’s Counter Terrorism Command said the “small improvised explosive devices,” which were found inside small postal bags, “appear capable of igniting an initially small fire when opened.” As of now, no one has been injured by the devices.

An investigation is underway with help from Irish police, and authorities are already treating the incidents as “linked.” London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted that “transport services continue to operate as normal,” although he asked people to remain vigilant.

Javier Zarracina/Vox

It’s unclear as of now who planted the explosives or why, although police said they’re “keeping an open mind regarding motives.”

Timeline of the incidents

According to CNN, the first package was found at Heathrow — London’s busiest airport — around 9:55 am London time on Tuesday. After staff opened the package, it “initiated” and part of it burned.

Just under two hours later, police entered the mailroom of Waterloo, a major rail hub for the city’s south and west, and safely retrieved a second device, which was also inside a mail package.

And 30 minutes after that, at City Aviation House — about a two-minute walk from London’s City Airport — officials found a third device and rendered it safe without opening the package.

This is a developing story. We’ll update this post with more details as they become available.

Sign up for the newsletter The Weeds

Understand how policy impacts people. Delivered Fridays.