London on major alert
July 21, 2005
London on major alert over copycat terror attacks
By Philippe Naughton, Times Online
Emergency services were called out to incidents at three different Tube stations in London today, including a reported nailbomb attack at Warren Street Tube where one person was said to have been injured.
NI_MPU('middle');A British Transport Police spokeswoman said Warren Street, Shepherd's Bush and Oval stations had all been evacuated. She said the incidents were "ongoing".
An explosion was also reported on a No 26 bus at Hackney in East London, blowing out the windows but not causing any injuries.
Tony Blair cancelled his afternoon appointments on news of the incidents, although Scotland Yard said it was not immediately treating the incidents as of the same magnitude as the bombings on July 7.
The incidents came exactly two weeks after four suicide bombers blew themselves up on three Tube trains and a London bus, killing more than 50 people in a co-ordinated attack blamed on the al-Qaeda network. It was not immediately clear whether today's incidents represented another co-ordinated attack on the capital or were some kind of copycat attacks.
Like July 7, three Tube stations and a bus appeared to be involved, and as on July 7 the targets appeared to describe a rough cross-shape on the map of London, with Warren St in the north, Oval in the south, Hackney in the east and Shepherd's Bush in the west.
Police cordoned off streets around all four sites.
A British Transport Police spokesman said: "One person has received an injury at Warren Street. We cannot confirm what the injury is, how it was received or who serious it is. We are still waiting for more information."
Victoria Line passenger Ivan McCracken claimed a traveller’s rucksack had exploded on the Tube as it approached Warren Street station, which is just a few hundred yards from King's Cross station.
He told Sky News: "I was in a middle carriage and the train was not far short of Warren Street station when suddenly the door between my carriage and the next one burst open and dozens of people started rushing through.
"Some were falling, there was mass panic. It was difficult to get the story from any of them what had happened but when I got to ground level there was an Italian young man comforting an Italian girl who told me he had seen what had happened.
"He said that a man was carrying a rucksack and the rucksack suddenly exploded. It was a minor explosion but enough to blow open the rucksack. The man then made an exclamation as if something had gone wrong. At that point everyone rushed from the carriage."
Mr McCracken said he smelled smoke but did not see any injured passengers.
Other reports suggested that gunshots were fired as a man ran away from the scene at Warren Street.
Services on the Victoria, Northern and Hammersmith and City lines were suspended following the incidents. London fire brigade said there were reports of smoke coming from Oval station, which crews were investigating.
"I can confirm that emergency services are responding to reports of three incidents on the London Underground," a Scotland Yard spokeswoman said. "They are Oval, Warren Street and Shepherd's Bush."
A London Ambulance spokesman said: "We are currently responding with other emergency services to incidents at Warren Street, Shepherd’s Bush and Oval. We were called to Oval at 12.38pm and sent three ambulance vehicles.
"We were called to Warren Street at 12.45pm and sent five vehicles. We will shortly confirm details of the incident at Shepherd’s Bush."
My life is an open book; if you don't like the read, put me back on the shelf ....................
I've been following this on the morning news, Michel. Very worrisome.