34. Outrageous unprovoked attack

30.08.2016 16:21
Police are hunting this man after thugs sprayed teenage boys with acid leaving one 'blinded in one eye' and four more horrifically injured as they waited for a train 
  • Young group were standing at Ockendon station, Essex, when attacked
  • Doused in corrosive liquid by group of random assailants who then fled
  • One of the teenagers left blind in one eye while a second badly burned
  • Three others also hurt but released from hospital with only minor injuries

Police have released a CCTV still of a man wanted in connection with an acid attack on five teenagers as they waited for a train.

He is alleged to have been part of a group that squirted corrosive liquid over the boys before jumping on a train and making his getaway.

The man is described as black, with dark hair and wearing a jet black North Face gilet. 

The terrifying incident took place shortly after 12.40am on Sunday, when the man dismounted a train travelling towards Barking at Ockendon station, Essex. 

Graphic images shared online show the horrific injuries endured by five teenage boys who were attacked with acid as they waited for a train

The images show at least three boys with severe burn marks to their faces and heads. It is understood one of the victims has lost the sight in at least one of his eyes

He approached the five victims who were waiting on the platform where he held one of his hands behind his back. After a brief dialog with them, he removed his hand from behind his back exposing a bottle. He then squirted an unknown liquid over the victims.

The man re-joined his group of roughly nine friends on the 11.44pm Southend to Barking service.

Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Gail McKemmie said: 'This was a particularly vicious and alarming assault which has left some of the victims with potentially life changing injuries.

One even appears to have had his tongue singed in the terrifying incident
The same teen has visible injuries to the surface of his face

One even appears to have had his tongue singed (left) in the terrifying incident. The same teen has visible injuries to the surface of his face (right)

'This was an unprovoked and violent incident and it is essential that those responsible are identified and brought to justice.

'Although our investigation is in its early stages, it would appear that this was a random and isolated incident.

'If you think you recognise the man in the CCTV image, I'd urge you to get in touch as we think he has vital information that could assist this investigation.'

The five teenage victims were all rushed to hospital with burns injuries following the attack.

It was confirmed this afternoon that two of them suffered injuries described as 'potentially life changing'.

One 17-year-old suffered burns to his eyes whilst another, also 17, was left with burns to his mouth and tongue.

Another 17-year-old and a 16-year-old were both left with minor face burns and an 18-year-old's hands were burned by the acid.

All the victims have since been discharged from hospital. 

Graphic images shared online showed some of their horrific injuries.  

The victims did not recognise those responsible. Officers continue to examine CCTV footage in the hope of tracking down them down.

A BTP spokesman said: 'We have launched an investigation into the incident and are viewing the CCTV and speaking to witnesses.

Five youngsters were left injured when a group of random attackers doused them in corrosive liquid as they were standing at Ockendon station (pictured), Essex, in the early hours of Sunday

Five youngsters were left injured when a group of random attackers doused them in corrosive liquid as they were standing at Ockendon station (pictured), Essex, in the early hours of Sunday

'Inquiries are ongoing to identify the people responsible, and the nature of the substance and determine the circumstance behind the assault.

'If anyone has any information about the incident please contact BTP on 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference 23 of 22/5/16.'

Paramedics raced to the scene after being alerted to the attack shortly after midnight.

A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service said: 'We received a call on Sunday at 12.32am to reports of an incident on West Road in South Ockendon and sent two ambulance officers and two ambulances.

'At the scene, five persons were treated, two of whom were treated for head injuries while the other three were treated for minor injuries.

'After an assessment at scene, all five were taken to hospital for further treatment.'