July 07, 2005
London Underground Explosions
[Post Summary 1900 EDT] Reporting on today's explosions started around 0500 EDT at IP with updates through 0900, all reflected below. After that time, reports on the Internet and in the world's media ballooned into dissonance. Consequently, this post conveys the initial confusion, the speculation, and some false reports generated during the initial hours after the explosions.
At this time, 37 people have been confirmed as fatalities and 700 were injured from four separate bombings, three in the London Underground and one suicide bomber on a double-decker bus.
Prime Minister Tony Blair has spoken to and for the British people and the G8 world leaders in condemning the attacks while voicing a resolve not to be swayed by terrorism.
Every other conceivable aspect of the story is being vigorously pursued by the media and the blogosphere, with many sources linked to this post. Accordingly, I have no reason to continue updating this entry. It's more appropriate to investigate and report the multitude of eventualities and ramifications of the attacks in separate posts.
While Rusty is away, he gave me the keys to update important stories and clearly the London story is huge by all means. Unfortunately I do not have the time to cross-post every updated entry at The Jawa Report. You may view the updates here.
Breaking news from the BBC:
Several people have been injured after explosions blamed on a power surge led to the whole London Underground network being closed down.Reports indicate that traffic congestion has resulted from fire and ambulance services crowding the streets. There are no reports of injuries yet.
British Transport Police said some of the power surges had caused explosions.
Surges took place at Aldgate, Edgware Road, King's Cross, Old Street and Russell Square stations.
A spokesman said there were "walking wounded" at Liverpool Street station but one person's life was reported to be "at risk."
[Update 0630 EDT]
From the BBC:
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.
One caller to BBC Five said his friend had seen "the bus ripped open like a can of sardines and bodies everywhere."
Number 10 said it was "still unsure" whether the explosions were a terrorist attack and although casualties were reported, no further details were yet available.
From the Guardian Unlimited:
Many people were hurt today in a "major incident" on London transport as suspected terrorist attacks caused multiple explosions on tube trains and buses and plunged London's transport network into chaos.From network news, two deaths have been reported, presumably from the bus explosion. Six total explosions are said to have occurred.
Several eyewitnesses reported that a bus had been ripped apart by a bomb near Russell Square. Police confirmed the explosion. Union officials said they had received reports of two more bus explosions, but details were not immediately available. All London hospitals are on major incident alert.
Laura Matthews, a press officer at Universities UK, with offices in Tavistock Square, said there were bodies lying around the bus explosion, some without arms or legs. "Get people down here quickly," she sobbed. She thought a bomb had gone off and was trying to evacuate her office.
In all incidents of this type, terrorism is suspected, however, there's no indication so far. The subway and the bus explosions are being reported as coincidental. I don't believe coincidental explosions occur.
[Update 0730 EDT]
From various sources:
In a quick press announcement at 7am, PM Tony Blair calls for calm and vows to defeat those that committed the "barbaric" terrorist acts. Blair will leave the G8 Summit and travel to London.
The BBC has reported from Arab sources that the explosions were likely the work of al-Qaeda.
All public transportation in and around London has been suspended.
Rescue operations are underway in six locations.
There is an unconfirmed report that Scotland Yard received a warning before the explosions. It's probably false.
At least 100 people (unconfirmed) are injured. Royal London Hospital reports 95 injured, 1 fatality.
A suspicious package believed to be an unexploded device has been found. Also, London police said traces of explosive have been found at one site.
An unknown group (Italian?) claims responsibility for the attacks in the name of al-Qaeda. Possibly bogus.
[Update 0900 EDT]
From Sky News:
A terror group linked to al Qaeda says it carried out a series of terror attacks on London that have left a number of people dead and hundreds injured.Shortly after 0800 EDT, Tony Blair read a joint statement from the G8 leaders, stating that the attack on London was an "attack on all nations" and violence will not change societies or values.
A previously unknown group calling itself "Secret Organisation al Qaeda in Europe" said it carried out the attacks as revenge for British "military massacres" in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Two London hospitals have reported a total of 185 wounded after a series of blasts hit locations across the city on buses and Tube stations.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said there was evidence of explosives at at least two of the six sites.
Scotland Yard reports that seven explosions occurred and there was no prior warning. Government officials have closed the underground system for the day. Currently, the only vehicles operating in London are cars, taxis, and bicycles.
Companion post and pics at Interested-Participant.