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UK terrorist attacks: bombs explode accross London

Bombs have exploded on buses and underground tube trains in a massive and coordinated terrorist attack across London. A series of bombs exploded on buses across London, indicating that the terrorists have targeted people forced to use alternative routes in the second phase of the attack.

Based on eye-witness reports as of 14:30 this afternoon we estimate that the final death toll will be over 50. (At the time of writing the official figure is still 37.) More than 300 casualties are being treated in hospital, and hundreds more were treated at the scene or walked away with less serious injuries.

An hour after the first bombs detonated news services were still reporting initial claims by London Transport about an explosion caused by an electrical power surge. Why did they lie to the public? The second phase of the attack relied on commuters continuing their journeys to work by alternative means as normal. Staff at tube stations were telling people to use buses, which is the advice given during normal station closures, but this is obviously the wrong procedure for a terrorist attack. Buses were allowed to run normally for at least two hours after the first wave of simultaneous blasts wrecked trains underground, and the buses only stopped after the second phase of the attack.

Eye-witnesses on the Victoria line approaching Kings Cross at around 0900 HRS confirm that the driver announced that the station was closed due to a "lighting problem". But passengers saw that the lights were on as the train drove slowly through the deserted station, and an announcement being repeated over the station clearly indicated that the problem was more serious than a power cut: "Emergency! Please leave the station immediately! This station is closed due to an emergency!" By 09:05 the affected train stations were swarming with emergency personnel and services, dozens of ambulances, police cars and vans, fire engines and rescue vehicles -- obviously aware that this was a major incident -- yet over an hour later news reports were still talking about electrical problems.

Eye-witness reports received by The Insider describe large numbers of people being led out of major train stations, including Liverpool Street, Kings Cross, Euston, and Aldgate. We have people at the scene making observations, speaking to witnesses, and helping people who are confused or distressed. Some people are panicking, screaming, and crying. Many show obvious signs of bomb blast damage, with blackened faces and bodies, covered in blood, with their clothes torn to shreds. Eye-witness say that the force of the explosion lifted the roof off an underground train and blew the doors off, and there were bodies lying everywhere. In another report, a crowd bus was blown apart and blood was spattered on the walls of surrounding buildings. People who escaped from underground said the air became very with "fine white dust", but there has been no sign of any precautions against chemical or biological agents, or a radiological or "dirty bomb" attack.

Throughout London land and mobile telephone networks went down, and for a while some land-line callers were told they had not entered a valid CMS code, apparently an emergency planning measure designed to keep the network clear for the authorities. Mobile networks are jammed. News websites BBC News and Reuters UK are widely unavailable due to the volume of traffic. This afternoon the mobile phone networks Vodafone and O2 remain closed to the public, and the Metropolitan Police confirm that these networks are reserved for emergency traffic.

The police have sealed off central London and nobody can get in or out. The entire transport network is now closed. Police and media helicopters can be seen and heard overhead. The streets are being cleared by police in the City of London its self people are staying indoors. At around 11:00 sources in the Russel Square area not far from Euston station learned that bomb disposal experts are carrying out a series of controlled explosions. The public has been instructed to stay indoors and keep blinds down over the windows.

The Israeli Finance Minister was due to attend a conference on the Israeli economy in London today. The conference venue is located directly above Liverpool Street station. Israeli Army Radio reports that the Israeli embassy knew about the attacks in advance and told him not to go.

The G8 summit takes place in Scotland today and yesterday London won the bid to host the 2021 Olympic games.



Explosions blamed on a power surge lead to the whole London Underground network being closed down.
  -- BBC News (7 July 2005,  09:29)

A Reuters correspondent at Oxford Circus station, at the heart of the underground system, heard an announcement over the public-address system saying: "A power outage has occurred London-wide. All train services are suspended."
  -- Reuters (7 July 2005, 10:16 AM BST)

    Multiple blasts paralyse London
    Several people have been injured after explosions on the Underground network and a double-decker bus in London.
    A police spokesman said there were "quite a large number of casualties" at Aldgate Tube Station.
    And Scotland Yard confirmed one of several reports of explosions on buses in the city - in Tavistock Place - but said the cause was not yet known.
    UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke said several explosions in central London had caused "terrible injuries".
    -- BBC News (7 July 2005, 10:03 GMT)

    Six Blasts Rock London Subway and Tears Open a Packed Double-Decker Bus, Killing at Least Two People
    least six blasts rocked the London subway and tore open a packed double-decker bus during the morning rush hour Thursday, police said, killing at least two people and injuring nine, prompting officials to shut down the entire underground transport network.
    The near simultaneous explosions came a day after London was awarded the 2012 Olympics [sic] and as the G-8 summit was getting underway in Scotland. Initial reports blamed a power surge, but officials were not ruling out an intentional attack.
    --- AP news wire (7 July 2005, 6:39 AM EDT)

    A number of people were killed in a series of explosions on London's transport system at rush hour on Thursday morning, causing chaos in the British capital, police and transport officials said.
    Several blasts hit the underground network and police said there had been at least three explosions on buses in the city.
    A source at the Metronet consortium that runs part of the capital's underground network said "there were three explosions and there have been some fatalities".
    "It is too too early to state what has happened," a London police spokesman said. "I cannot comment on reports of bombs, but we have had multi-reports of explosions around London."
    People were seen streaming out of one underground station covered in blood and soot. Passengers were evacuated from stations across the capital, many in shock and with their clothes ripped to shreds, witnesses said.
    The entire system was shut down and major thoroughfares were blocked off by police and ambulance services.
    One bus was blown up in Tavistock Square in central London, a policeman told Reuters.
    "There have been some casualties and this has been declared as a major incident," said a spokeswoman for London's Metropolitan Police.
    Emergency services rushed to the Aldgate East underground station where police reported the first incident at 8:59 a.m. local time (0759 GMT).
    "There were people streaming out of Aldgate station covered in blood," said Kate Heywood, 27, on her way to work.
    "There are shards of glass there, it is chaos," she added.
    A Reuters correspondent at Oxford Circus station, at the heart of the underground system, heard an announcement over the public-address system saying: "A power outage has occurred London-wide. All train services are suspended."
    A station official said: "All the power has gone down. I don't know when it'll come back."
    Police sealed off large areas around other underground and mainline rail stations. Firemen donned chemical protection suits before rushing into stations.
    Half a dozen people dishevelled and with soot-blackened faces sat on the floor at Russell Square underground station or stood in shock as police cordoned off the area and ambulances crews raced in, one witness said.
    The Great Eastern Hotel, which was hosting a conference on the Israeli economy, was evacuated. Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due to attend the conference but had not arrived.
    Reuters, Thu Jul 7, 2005 11:00 AM BST

At least six explosions and many casualties, says Met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair.
-- BBC News, (7 July 2005, 10:40 GMT, 11:40 UK)

    "Two people have been killed and scores have been injured after at least seven blasts on the Underground network and a double-decker bus in London.
    Sir Ian said there had been "many casualties" but said it was too early to put a figure to those killed or injured and he reassured the public that an emergency plan was in place and the situation was "steadily coming under control".
    -- BBC News (7 July 2005, 11:08 GMT 12:08 UK )

    London explosions: Eyewitness reports
    Several people have been injured after a series of explosions, initially blamed on power surges, led to the whole London Underground network being closed down.
    -- BBC News (7 July 2005, 11:04 GMT 12:04 UK)

    Police say death toll from London attacks has gone up to 38. More details soon.
    --- BBC News (7 July 2005, 21:57 GMT 22:57 UK)

    London bombs killed 'at least 50'
    -- BBC News, (8 July 2005, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK)

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