Thursday, July 07, 2005

London attack

BBC NEWS | UK | Multiple blasts paralyse London: "A series of bomb attacks on London's transport network has killed more than 30 people and injured about 350 others."

I'm fine and I've talked to Kathy. Scary stuff because this happened on my Tube line, near my work, around the time I would have been there (I'd have left Liverpool Street or Moorgate station around 8:30am). I'm working from home today. Some of the kids take the same Tube line to get to school, but on the opposite side of London.

The only reason I'm working from home today is because my wife and eldest daughter are in the states. If I had gone in, I'd not be coming home soon. The entire Tube network will be down all day and all buses stopped in Zone 1 (I'm in Zone 5) . The police will have to check every bus, every train.

To family reading this: The incident happened well after all of the children got to school, so they're safe too.

Below are random updates as I hear them during the day.

- BBC, citing police, says four bombs confirmed. Earlier they said at least seven explosions, six on the Tube (Edgware Road, King's Cross, Liverpool Street, Russell Square, Aldgate East and Moorgate).

- "It's reasonably clear that there has been a terrorist attack in London," Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Radio 4 at around noon. He's returning from Edinburgh (he later went back). G8 meeting will continue, Blair says.

- "Whatever they do, it is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear in this country," Blair said.

- Scotland Yard telling the BBC that bus bombing may have been caused by a suicide bomber, the first ever in the U.K. That's still not confirme.d A statement has appeared on an Islamic Web site, from a group no one has heard of before. You have to take that with a bag of salt.

- The bus bomb went off in front of the British Medical Association, according to a doctor on the radio right now, so medical personnel on the scene within seconds.

- A timeline is here.

- Home Secretary Charles Clarke addressing House of Commons: He says four bombs confirmed. Airports working normally and most regular rail is working as well.

Originally uploaded by doubleaf.
- Everyone has a camera on them now, even if it's just on their mobile phone. You can see what's happening in almost realtime via these camera shots. I've received several text messages from various people, including Liam.

- There was some speculation that the government shut down the mobile phone network right after the attack. I couldn't call anywhere, except through Skype. It would make sense, I guess, but that action must have hampered rescue efforts too. How many injured people were trying to call an ambulance at that time?

- Police press conference now. They say 21 confirmed dead at Kings Cross, 7 dead at Liverpool Street and five dead at Edgeware Station. They said they can't give a total yet for the bus attack in Tavistock Square. (Later they said at least two have died on the bus, which would be a miracle if that was it.) They said the police received no warning about the attacks.

- Mayor Ken Livingstone's words and reaction from Andrew Sullivan. I'm proud of London's politicians. They're saying the right things. The police chief today, in response to a question about whether this was an "Islamic terror" attack, said, "those two words don't belong together."

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