London attacked

July 7th, 2005 by MrLuxuryFashionGuru

I live just five tube stops away from my work place at Old Street, and travel through Moorgate, one of the affected stations, on a daily basis (look up a tube map).  I often go into the office early, in which case I would be on the train at just past 9am and at Moorgate at about 9.15am, which would have been terrible. 

While I was walking home I was very conscious of the endless police sirens and the sound of many helicopters overhead, and feeling very somber and vulnerable (even now I can still hear them constantly, hours later). 

This is a very sad day for London, and contrasts painfully with the euphoria of the last few days, what with the excitement and hope of Live 8, and again when the Americans here celebrated  Independence Day and just yesterday when London joyfully won its bid to host the 2012 Olympics.  Although these attackers have been successful in violently disrupting the lives of Londoners today (hundreds of thousands of people are presently trying to leave the city and get home without the benefit of most public transport), we must be thankful that the deadly attacks were relatively contained, isolated events that occurred quite close to each other in central London. 

The people here have been generally calm and determined to recover quickly from the attacks, although people are understandably worried and distressed as well.  There has been an admirable response from police, transport, health and emergency services as well as government officials.  I can only wonder how much disruption there will be for the coming weeks and months before the underground system is restored, and mobile phone networks have been unreliable all day and even now some ten hours later.

(12:15am, London time)

Bars, clubs and movie theatres across the city are filled with people.  Bus and tube services are returning to normal and Tony Blair has returned to Gleneagles to continue with the G8 summit.

The official death toll now stands at 38.

(12:10pm, London Time)

This may be my last report on this, God-willing there will be nothing much more to say.

Tony Blair has given a televised statement from Gleneagles, Scotland where he is hosting the G8 conference which started yesterday, which is also when London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympics.  The Prime Minister expressed his deepest sympathies for the victims, condemned those responsible, and indicated that he would be leaving the summit within the next few hours to return to London.

Confirmed reports of fatalities are starting to be made public.  The number is currently at two and expected to rise.

National Rail services coming into London have been suspended, bringing all public transport into the city to a halt.

(11:05am, London Time)

Nothing has happened for a while now, which is good news.  The Metropolitan Police Chief is giving preliminary reports of six “events”, possibly explosions, at Liverpool Street, Russell Square, Moorgate, East Aldgate Station, King’s Cross and Edgware Road.  Accodring to eye-witnesses there are many casualties, and likely fatalities, although officials are unwilling to confirm or speculate.

(10:48am, London Time)

News reports are now confirming a coordinated series of attacks on the city, starting with the multiple explosions this morning on the London Underground and followed by (now) up to four explosions on London double-decker buses around Central London.  An eyewitness report on Sky News from around Russell Square confirmed hearing a blast earlier this morning, and has just reported that a second, smaller explosion was heard towards Tavistock Square, a short distance away.

Some mobile phone networks are reportedly failing after being swamped with calls.  People are being asked to stay away from Central London if possible.

The entire London underground Tube system has been shut down, stranding hundreds of thousands of people trying to get to work this Thursday morning.  By 10am people trying to take bus services into the city were told that the whole of Central London is being shut down and they would only get as far as London Bridge.

According to London Underground staff, there has been an explosion or multiple explosions on the Tube in the city centre, in or around King’s Cross station.  News channels are now reporting that the explosions were caused by a “power surge”, but conflicting reports are still coming in.

(10:20am, London Time)

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