Series of explosions – almost certainly terrorist attacks

Nothing you’ll get here you couldn’t get from google or the BBC.

I’m posting this to reassure that I’m fine, as is Disa, and from the numerous reports I have from friends and family, my sphere has been spared from the traumas occurring round the city. Three Two of the explosions were within ten minutes of my house, and one across the road from where I work. I may post some updates as the day progresses, and if anyone wants to use comments to declare their situation then do so.

UPDATE: The death toll is rising; I’ve been outside to meet with some friends and it seems people are pretty unflustered – this is on Lambs Conduit Street, just metres from Russell square – although police cordons are carving up this part of the city at present.

CORRECTION: The Russell Square and Kings Cross explosions were in fact one explosion in between the two stations. Likewise for Aldgate and Liverpool street.

UPDATE: Typing as I hear it: “They’re trying to use the slaughter of innocent people to cow us, to frighten us from doing the things we want to do…. they should not and must not succeed. When they try to intimidate us, we will not be intimidated. When they seek to change our country or our way of life by these methods, we will not be changed…. We will show by our spirit and dignity, and the quiet and true strength there is in the British people, that our way will outlast theirs….This is a very sad day for the British people, but we will hold true to the British way of life.” – Tony Blair, 17:30 approx GMT

6 Replies to “Series of explosions – almost certainly terrorist attacks”

  1. Hi Alex,

    Was concerned about all of you down there when I heard the news. I’m glad to hear you’re all ok.

    Ailsa xx

  2. Thanks. Casualty counts at present don’t seem Madrid-scale (let alone New York-scale); scant comfort for those involved, but worth considering, especially in the face of London’s resilience under bombing campaigns in the 70s 80s and early 90s.

  3. Yup. Feeling a bit hollowed out at the moment, which is strange as I’ve lived through bombing campaigns and they didn’t seem anything more than an inevitable part of life; I don’t know whether the 24-hour news is sensitising me to this being especially awful.

    That said it is the ‘worst terrorist attack in the UK’ so maybe I should be treating it differently. Well.

  4. Actually Al, I think your reaction is representative. At them moment the media seem to be pretty keen for everyone to be worried as it makes of an interesting drama than everyone just shaking their head and getting on with things. The emergency services press conference made interesting listening with very calm sensible statements from the police etc and stupid questions from some journalists (Express, ITV and Sky spring to mind – didn’t hear the Mail’s question) which focused not on the emergency services response but betrayed the dramatic line those sources were going to take. See also the ITV news headline “Target London” or the statement on the daily politics that Londoners felt over the last week “in equal doses… [political] conscience, commemoration, celebration and terror”. Concern, worry, anger, grief – yes. Terror? Not my experience of most people I saw yesterday on the streets nor even on TV. I was training from 8:30-10:15, leaving the gym some guy on the lift was talking to someone on the phone about bombs and bodies but I thought he was winding them up. When I got outside (around the corner from the bus bomb) it was quiet with a helicopter hovering nearby and a lot of people walking in a slightly subdued manner which seemed odd but could have been due to a Euston being closed or something. It wasn’t until I got into the office that I found out what had happened. The point being that even with slight priming (from the guy in the lift) I didn’t notice any terror. Just a slightly eerie contemplative air.

    We appear to have got off more lightly than Madrid (luckily if this is true) and the emergency services seem to have reacted in an incredibly organised, effective and ingenious way (using buses to ferry walking wounded, using helicopters to ferry doctors to the scenes). The TFL website says 3 million people use the underground everday. One attack in four years of alert. Transport disruption (on the day) not much more severe than a tube driver strike. I don’t think that’s too bad considering what could have been although it is impossible to estimate the odds from n=1.

    That’s not to say that it’s not horrific, nor that we shouldn’t learn any lessons or take any preventative measures. Nor should it justify any particular political stance. I think we need to just to react rationally – not too look all stoic and british about it, but to ensure we don’t introduce any disproportionate legislation. I remember the atmosphere after Diana died that the media stoked into something I found particularly disturbing. Ultimately irrelevant and harmless in that case, but critical in this case.

    And of course I’m glad you’re all ok 😉

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