Headlines


Transit bombs shock Londoners
Just one
person reported injured; large areas evacuated and Underground shut
down

CAROLINE
MALLAN
SPECIAL TO THE
STAR

LONDON – Terrorists have attempted to attack London’s
transit system for the second time in two weeks, although they appear to have
failed to inflict any significant damage.

Police confirmed today that there were four near-simultaneous attempts to set
off bombs during the lunch hour, three on the city’s Underground subway system
and one on the top deck of a bus in the east end.

The latest reports had just one person injured in the attacks that once again
kick-started a large scale evacuation of affected areas, had swaths of London
cordoned off and brought the snaking underground system and many buses to a
halt.

Unlike the suicide bombs of July 7 that claimed 56 lives, including the four
bombers, police today were scouring the city for two men who were seen running
from subway stations after abandoning backpacks inside subway cars.

In one case, at the Oval tube stop in south London, one witness reported that
fellow passengers chased a man out of the station after he threw a backpack into
a train carriage just before the doors closed.

It is unclear if he was caught.

At the Warren Street station, less than a kilometre from Tavistock Square
where the No. 30 bus was bombed two weeks ago, passengers watched as a small
backpack reportedly exploded, injuring one person.

Victoria Sampson was on the Victoria line tube train pulling out of the
Warren Street station when smoke began to billow into her carriage.

Sampson said that a passenger pulled the emergency alarm and the train eased
toward the platform before being evacuated.

“It wasn’t thick smoke, but people were a bit panicky, a bit like burning
rubber,” she said shortly after the bombing as she stood behind the police
cordon.

Sampson said another passenger, who was in the same car as the alleged
bomber, described the sound as one of champagne corks popping that caught the
attention of everyone in the car.

One eyewitness told the London Evening Standard that the man holding the
backpack looked alarmed when the explosion happened and there were later reports
that the detonator went off, not the explosives.

Leo Andrews, another passenger on the Victoria Line train, said the rush to
get off the train was intense and already nervous passengers were shoving their
way out.

“I couldn’t get out of my car to move to another; no way, too many people,”
Andrews said.

In Hackney, east London, a bus driver reported the smell of burning rubber on
the top floor of his double-decker bus less than an hour after the first
explosion was reported at 12:30 local time. The driver reportedly investigated
the smell and found windows shattered on the top floor.

By early evening, both police and political officials were assuring the
public that they had the situation under control and urged people to get back to
their daily business. Metropolitan police chief Ian Blair told a late afternoon
news conference that police were very positive that the failed bombers had left
behind a wealth of evidence for investigators. He said the bombs were smaller
than the ones used on July 7 and that some of them were still intact.

At first, passengers at stations around the city grumbled as one-by-one, more
stations in the network were closed.

But as news spread of new attacks, people began looking for a bus or taxi to
take them to their destinations.

“We’ll just get on with it,” said Ian McKenzie, echoing the tone adapted by
the entire city since the deadly bomb attacks of two weeks ago.

By early evening, the sidewalk cafes and pubs were overflowing as Londoners
took advantage of the warm evening and in some instances, waited for their
subway line to be back up and running.

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It really really sickens me what people will do to each other! Is it really worth it all this violence? The killing of innocent people for nothing other then a “cause”. Fuck it! It’s not right.

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