A suspected pipe bomb that injured 25 passengers on a train in Taiwan was a homemade explosive device and unlikely to be part of a terror-related plot, a police official said on Friday.
The explosion, decried on television by Premier Lin Chuan as appearing to be a deliberate “act of malice”, happened just before the train entered a station in Taipei, the capital, late on Thursday. Television broadcast images of people with bandages on their burned limbs and faces being taken to hospital.
“Our initial investigation has ruled out terror,” Wang Bao-chang of Taiwan’s National Police Agency told a news conference, adding there had been no claim of responsibility and no information to justify suspicion of a terrorist attack.
Authorities are hunting for more than one suspect, among them a man wearing black clothes and aged around 40, who was glimpsed by witnesses just minutes before the blast, Wang said.
The explosive device was a steel tube 47 cm long filled with pyrotechnic gunpowder, Wang added, as he displayed a picture of remnants of a black tube, with gray duct tape stuck on it, that investigators had found at the site.
It was unclear how the device was set off, he added, but a long red bag used to carry climbing equipment was found in the bathroom of a train car and may have been used to transport the device.