**Scotland Yard has issued the following casualty hotline number: 0870 1566
SNOWMAIL UPDATE AT 15.30:
At least 33 people have been killed and up to a thousand injured in a series of bomb attacks on bus and Underground services in central London.A previously unknown group has claimed responsiblity in the name of Al Qaeda.
The first - shortly before 8.50am - came on a tube train between Aldgate East and Liverpool Street, in which seven people are believed to have been killed. Another explosion followed, on a Number 30 bus in Tavistock Square.
The bus packed was with commuters when it exploded, ripping off the roof.
Up to 25 people are believed killed in the third blast - on a Metropolitan line train between Russell Square and King's Cross. And nine died in an explosion on a tube train at Edgware Road station.
Other news coming in:
- All 54 state schools in Westminster will be closed tomorrow in the wake of the terrorist bombings and resulting public transport chaos. Westminster City Council said: "The decision to close schools came as a result of uncertainties about transport arrangements."
- Euston and Paddington stations have re-opened. Victoria station still not open, despite earlier reports.
- Metropolitan Police officers in Scotland for the G8 summit are to be urgently redeployed to London following today's terror attacks on the capital.
- Tony Blair has arrived back in Downing Street
There will be regular updates on Channel Four throughout the afternoon. Channel 4 News will be on at 7pm as usual with an additional show at 10.55pm.
More at http://www.channel4.com/news
Latest pictures: http://www.channel4.com/news/gallery/2005/london_blasts/index.html
Where you in London? Send us your messages and pictures about the days events:
Three blasts rock London subway, at least 40 killed and more than 300 woundedThursday, July 7, 2005 BY JANE WARDELL ASSOCIATED PRESS
LONDON - Four blasts rocked the London subway and tore open a packed double-decker bus during the morning rush hour Thursday, sending bloodied victims fleeing after what a shaken Prime Minister Tony Blair called "barbaric" terrorist attacks. Two U.S. law enforcement officials said at least 40 people were killed and London hospitals reported more than 360 wounded.
Blair said the "terrorist attacks" were clearly designed to coincide with the G-8 summit opening in Gleneagles, Scotland. They also came a day after London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympics.
The explosions hit three subway stations and a double-decker bus in rapid succession between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. local time. Implementing an emergency plan, authorities immediately shut down the subway and bus lines that log 8.4 million passenger trips every weekday. It brought the city's transportation system to a halt.
"It was chaos," said Gary Lewis, 32, who was evacuated from a subway train at King's Cross station. "The one haunting image was someone whose face was totally black and pouring with blood."
Blair, flanked by fellow G-8 leaders, including President Bush, said: "We shall prevail and they shall not."
Earlier, a shaken Blair said, "Whatever they do, it is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear in this country and in other civilized nations throughout the world."
He departed by helicopter back to London, but said the meeting of the world leaders would continue.
Bush warned Americans to be "extra vigilant" as they head to work after the deadly explosions in London. He said he had conferred with federal homeland security officials back in Washington.
Much of Europe also went on alert. Italy's airports raised their alert level to a maximum. Other countries that announced increased security at shopping centers, airports, railways and subways included the Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia, the Netherlands, France and Spain.
A group calling itself "The Secret Organization of al-Qaida in Europe" posted a claim of responsibility, saying the blasts were in retaliation for Britain's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The statement also threatened attacks in Italy and Denmark. It was published on a Web site popular with Islamic militants, according to Elaph, a secular Arabic-language news Web site, and Der Spiegel magazine in Berlin, which published the text on their Web sites.
The authenticity of the statement could not be immediately confirmed, but terrorism experts said the coordinated explosions had the trademarks of the al-Qaida network.
"This is clearly an al-Qaida style attack. It was well-coordinated, it was timed for a political event and it was a multiple attack on a transportation system at rush hour," said Lawrence Freedman, professor of war studies at King's College in London.
European stocks dropped sharply after the blasts, with exchanges in London, Paris and Germany all down about 2 percent. Insurance and travel-related stocks were hit hard, and the British pound also fell. Gold, traditionally seen as a safe haven, rose.
The explosions also unnerved traders on Wall Street, sending stocks down sharply in morning trading.
The U.S. officials who gave the death toll spoke on condition of anonymity because British officials have yet to make the toll public. U.S. authorities learned of the number from their British counterparts, according to the official.
Officials at seven major hospitals surveyed by The Associated Press reported 369 people had been wounded, including more than 120 who were treated and released.
London Mayor Ken Livingstone said the blasts that ripped through his city were "mass murder" carried out by terrorists bent on "indiscriminate ... slaughter."
"This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty or the powerful ... it was aimed at ordinary working-class Londoners," said Livingstone, in Singapore where he supported London's Olympic bid. Giselle Davies, an International Olympic Committee spokeswoman, said the committee still had "full confidence" in London.
Jay Kumar, a business owner near the site of the blast that destroyed a double-decker bus at Russell Square in central London, said he ran out of his shop when he heard a loud explosion. He said the top deck of the bus had collapsed, sending people tumbling to the floor.
Many appeared badly injured, and bloodied people ran from the scene.
"A big blast, a big bomb," he told The Associated Press. "People were running this way panicked. They knew it was a bomb. Debris flying all over, mostly glass."
"I was on the bus in front and heard an incredible bang, I turned round and half the double decker bus was in the air," Belinda Seabrook told Press Association, the British news agency.
Traces of explosives were found at two explosion sites, a senior police official said. Police confirmed fatalities but had not confirmed any numbers by early afternoon.
Pope Benedict XVI deplored the "terrorist attacks," calling them "barbaric acts against humanity," and said he was praying for the victim's families.
Explosions were reported at the Aldgate station near the Liverpool Street railway terminal, Edgware Road and King's Cross in north London, Old Street in the financial district and Russell Square, near the British Museum.
"I saw lots of people coming out covered in blood and soot. Black smoke was coming from the station. I saw several people laid out on sheets," office worker Kibir Chibber, 24, said at the Aldgate subway station.
Simon Corvett, 26, on an eastbound train from Edgware Road station, described "this massive huge bang ... It was absolutely deafening and all the windows shattered."
"You could see the carriage opposite was completely gutted," he said. "There were some people in real trouble."
London's cell phone network was working after the explosions but was overloaded and spotty, limiting communication.
On March 11, 2004, terrorist bombs on four commuter trains in Madrid killed 191 people.
Eyewitness accounts: ‘the roof blew 5 metres off the bus’Published: July 7 2005 12:07 | Last updated: July 7 2005 12:07
Raj Mattoo, a 35 year-old support manager for a charity was on board the number 91 bus travelling through Tavistock Square when he saw a bus coming in the opposite direction. “All of a sudden the roof of the approaching bus was blown 5 metres into the air before it fell in front of the bus.” Mr Mattoo said, judging from the explosion he thought the bomb had been on the top deck. “People on my bus were in complete shock and were panicking but they evacuated the bus in an orderly fashion within 30 seconds.” Mr Mattoo said the people on the bus torn apart by the explosion were desperately trying to get off. “The explosion was quite contained but there was smoke everywhere.”
Angelo Power, a 43 year-old barrister, was on the Tube when a bomb went off. He said there had been an annoucement at Mansion House saying there were technical problems on eastbound trains. A few seconds after leaving King’s Cross his train was rocked by an explosion. People were thrown from their seat screaming. Smoke was pouring in and people were trying to break the windows. They were stuck in the carriage for at least 30 minutes and the panic rose to levels of pandemonium. Mr Power was angry at the way the way London Transport handled the incident, allowing the train to continue.
Mick O Cruthers was near Russell Square when an explosion went off on a bus at around 9.20am. Mr O Cruthers said he saw people coming off the bus covered in blood and glass and was told a bomb had exploded on the bottom deck. He said the people he spoke to had been upstairs.
Travis Banko, a 24-year old insurance broker, from the antipodes was covered in soot and cuts. Mr Banko was travelling from Edgeware Road to his work in Kensington on the Circle Line. He was in the front carriage when the train was rocked by a massive explosion. “All the windows blew out. People were screaming, it was black, we couldn’t see...We were sitting in darkness for five minutes trying not to inhale all the soot and smoke filing the carriage. After five minutes the doors were opened and we got out into the tunnel...The second carriage was ripped apart. There was carnage in the second carriage, people were under the train. I tried not to look... I’ve been in London eight weeks - a nice welcoming party.”
Simon Hughes, the Lib Dem MP for Bermondsey, said he saw 50 or 60 people emerging from Kings Cross Underground “covered in soot...they looked as though they had been in a coalmine. Some of them said they heard an explosion and were clearly in shock.”
David Scott, 43, a freelance IT consultant from Milton Keynes was trying to get from Euston to Liverpool Street and had been told the Tube was down because on an electrical fault “I am going to walk north and try and get out of the city”
News roundup at 13.58 pm 7th July 2005
By: Channel 4 News http://www.channel4.com/news/special-reports/special-reports-storypage.jsp?id=315
Blasts rock capital
At least six explosions have ripped through buses and tube trains in London: two deaths are confirmed and casualties could be as high as 200.
Tony Blair said he would be leaving the G8 summit for London in the wake of the "barbaric" attack, but the summit would go on.
He said: "It is reasonably clear that there have been a series of terrorist attacks in London.
"There are obviously casualties, both people who have died and people who are seriously injured, and our thoughts and prayers, of course, are with the victims and their families.
"It is my intention to leave the G8 within the next couple of hours and go down to London and get a report face-to-face with the police and the emergency services and the ministers who have been dealing with this and then to return later this evening."
Scotland Yard said explosions have been reported at Edgware Road,King's Cross, Liverpool Street, Russell Square, Aldgate East and Moorgate.
The Prime Minister said the people of Britain were more determined to defend the values they hold dear than the terrorists were to destroy them.
He added: "Whatever they do it is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear in this country and other civilised nations in the world."
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said: "We are slowly assuming control and order.
"We are urging people to stay where they are and stay where they are safe. There is no way of moving around London, there are no tube services and no buses." He added: "There have been six blasts, but it is a very confusing situation and that could change."
He refused to be drawn on the possible group or motive behind the attacks.
However Terrorism expert Professor Paul Wilkinson, from St Andrews University, said: "It is quite clear that a major terrorist attack has been carried out on London.
"The attack has all the trademarks of the Al Qaida network.
The Home Secretary Charles Clarke said: "As far as the police are concerned, they are in operational command and dealing with the situation in accordance with very well-established procedures in an extremely professional way." Scotland Yard said one packed double decker bus was ripped apart in one explosion in central London - there were two other explosions on buses and several blasts throughout the tube network.
Large areas of the capital are sealed off - all buses in central London are suspended along with train travel in and out of the city. One report says the Army has been deployed in Covent Garden.
Police are on the streets, phone services are clogged up as Londoners are trying to phone their relatives and mobile services have diverted much of their coverage for emergency services.
All London hospitals are on major alert.
At 8.49am, there was an explosion on the Metropolitan line between Aldgate East tube and Liverpool Street.
Another explosion's been confirmed, also on the Metropolitan line at Edgware Road tube.
The bus was blown up at Tavistock Square.
There have also been possible explosions reported at Russell Square tube and at Kings Cross station.
As well as a reported blast at Moorgate tube in the City.
There were also possible bus explosions at Marylebone and South Kensington.
The Tube blasts were initially blamed on a power surge.
Europe Herald Tribune
A typical drizzly London morning quickly turned to chaos Thursday as commuters still basking in the euphoria of the city's surprise choice as the site of the 2012 Olympics were forced onto the streets by a shutdown of the public transportation system.
Shortly before 9 a.m. travelers waiting for trains at the Chancery Lane station on the London Underground's Central Line were informed of delays and station closures on other lines because of "power failures." No trains appeared, and soon the announcement message changed to a "security alert."
There was little reaction at that point as Londoners over the last four years have become used to service disruptions because of suspect packages and other reasons.
At a few minutes after nine, however, Underground staff members suddenly urged people to leave the station. A rush to the exits began.
Outside, what had seemed like a calm morning 10 minutes earlier had been transformed. Sidewalks were crammed with office workers rushing from busy rail hubs of Kings Cross and Euston toward the City, London's financial district. Other people were going against the pedestrian traffic, giving up on the workday as news of the explosions came via mobile phones.
A taxi driver refused to take a passenger, saying he was heading out of town. At that point, this commuter decided to drive to work from his home in the Clerkenwell neighbourhood, which is roughly encircled by several of the explosion sites, including Liverpool Street Station, Edgware Road, Russel Square and Old Street.
Police cordons quickly appeared as news of the explosion on a bus at Tavistock Place spread. Police officers turned away anyone who tried to get near the Tavistock Place site, including journalists.
Road traffic quickly built up, but there was little panic.
Security services took over mobile phone networks, making it difficult for worried relatives to connect with family members in London.
Twelve dead, at least 150 injured as terrorists target London
TERRORIST bombs targeted London's rush hour this morning with at least four explosions on the Underground and bus system.
Reports say 12 people are dead and more than 150 others were injured. One train passenger said he saw several bodies in the wreckage. All London hospitals were put on major incident alert. At midday, people were still trapped in the Underground.
• Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, told the House of Commons that there had been at least four explosions, with attacks on the tube system between Aldgate and Liverpool Street; Russell Square and Kings Cross; and at Edgware Road station; and on a bus in Woburn Place. The first blast was reported at 8:49am.
The entire Tube system, used by three million people a day, was closed while bus services in the centre of London have also been cancelled.
Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, had earlier said there had been at least six explosions, but said the picture was still "very confused" and expressed concern that this was "a co-ordinated attack." Sir Ian said there was evidence of explosives at least one of the blast sites.
• Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, speaking at Gleneagles where he had been attending the G8 summit, said: "There are obviously casualties, there are people that have died and people seriously injured, and our thoughts and prayers are of course with the victims and their families."
Before flying to London, he expressed his "complete resolution" to defeat the terrorism responsible for this "barbaric" outrage.
"There will be time to talk later about this, but it is important however that those engaged in terrorism realise that our determination to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people in a desire to impose extremism on the world. Whatever they do, it is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear in this country and in other civlised nations throughout the world," the Prime Minister said.
• According to a claim on the Al-Qal’ah website, the Secret Organisation Group of al Qaeda of Jihad Organisation in Europe claimed responsibility for the attacks. The message said: "The heroic mujahidin have carried out a blessed raid in London. Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern, and western quarters."
Paul Wilkinson, a terrorism expert from St Andrews University, said: "It is quite clear that a major terrorist attack has been carried out on London. The attack has all the trademarks of the al Qaeda network," he said
There is also an unconfirmed report that Scotland Yard was aware of the possible attacks. A senior Israeli official reportedly told a news agency that Scotland Yard told Israel minutes before the explosions it had received warnings of possible terror attacks.
• The timing of the incidents came on the opening day of the G8 summit in Scotland. Edinburgh and Perthshire, near the summit venue, have experienced a series of protests in recent days.
The G8 gathering had prompted fears of a terrorist spectacular. The scale of the explosions and the disruption it has caused London's transport network is bound to provoke comparisons with the al Qaida attacks on the Madrid railway network.
The Prime Minister will leave the summit in Gleneagles for several hours for face-to-face meetings in London about the attacks. The meetings in Perthshire will continue without him.
• A spokesperson for Lothian and Borders police said: "It is too early to say whether or not this is G8 related, and we will continue to carry out assessments over the next couple of hours. Edinburgh is already in a heightened state of security, but we will continue to monitor the situation," the spokesperson said.
• The Ministry of Defence said there was currently "no military involvement" in the response to today's blasts. "We standby ready to assist, but this is a civil police led operation at present," said a spokesman.
• The London Stock Exchange has suffered from the news. The FTSE 100 index plunged 160.4 points to 5069.2 in morning trading. Sterling was also sharply lower, with the pound weakening by almost a cent to 1.741 against the US dollar.
Terror blasts strike capital Jul 7 2005http://ichuddersfield.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0100localnews/tm_objectid=15710596&method=full&siteid=50060&headline=terror-blasts-strike-capital-name_page.html By The Huddersfield Daily Examiner
A BUS was ripped apart in an explosion in central London today and several blasts rocked the Tube network - leaving dozens of people injured.
Two other buses were also thought to be damaged by explosions.
There were reports of explosions in Edgware Road, King's Cross, Liverpool Street, Russell Square, Aldgate East and Moorgate, Scotland Yard said.
The Tube blasts were initially blamed on a power surge but there were reports that had been discounted.
Amid the chaos eyewitnesses reported that a packed double decker bus in the Russell Square area had been severely damaged in a blast. Union officials blamed the Tube blasts on a series of bombs.
Scotland Yard confirmed the bus explosion and said it was dealing with "multiple explosions" in London.
A second bus was damaged in Tavistock Square.
Describing the Russell Square blast, eyewitness Belinda Seabrook said she saw an explosion rip through the bus as it approached the Square. "I was on the bus in front and heard an incredible bang, I turned round and half the double decker bus was in the air," she said. Mrs Seabrook said the bus was travelling from Euston to Russell Square and had been "packed" with people turned away from Tube stops.
"It was a massive explosion and there were papers and half a bus flying through the air, I think it was the number 205," she said. "There must be a lot of people dead as all the buses were packed, they had been turning people away from the tube stops.
"We were about 20 metres away, that was all."
The blasts plunged the capital into chaos as world leaders gathered in Scotland for the G8 summit.
Scores of police and fire engines filled Edgware Road as shocked passengers left the scene of one of the explosions. Simon Corvett, 26, from Oxford, was on the eastbound train leaving Edgware Road Tube station when the explosion happened. He said: "All of sudden there was this massive huge bang. It was absolutely deafening and all the windows shattered.
"The glass did not actually fall out of the windows, it just cracked.
"The train came to a grinding halt, everyone fell off their seats."
Mr Corvett, who works in public relations, said the commuter train was absolutely packed. "There were just loads of people screaming and the carriages filled with smoke," he said.
"You couldn't really breathe and you couldn't see what was happening. The driver came on the Tannoy and said `We have got a problem, don't panic'." Mr Corvett, whose face was covered in soot, joined other passengers to force open the train doors with a fire extinguisher. He said the carriage on the other track was destroyed. "You could see the carriage opposite was completely gutted," he added. "There were some people in real trouble."
* 8.49am - First explosion reported on the line between Liverpool Street and Aldgate Station.
* 9.35am - Second explosion reported at Edgware Road on the Circle Line - one passenger later calls it a "massive explosion".
* 9.48am - British Transport Police confirm incidents at Edgware Road, Kings Cross, Old Street, Aldgate and Russell Square.
* 9.50am - The whole of the London Underground system is shut down.
* 9.53am - Passengers emerging from the underground covered in blood and soot rescue teams also enter the tunnels.
* 9.55am - First Great Western begin stopping services to Paddington Station at Reading.
* 10am - Police report massive confusion and confirm walking wounded.
* 10.10am - First reports of a huge explosion ripping a double-decker bus apart at Russell Square.
* 10.25am - Reports of more explosions at Moorgate Station.
* 10.26am - Scotland Yard confirm explosion on a bus in Tavistock Place.
* 10.27am - Union sources said they have received reports of explosion on three buses in central London.
* 10.41am - All London hospitals begin major incident procedures. Ambulances start arriving at hospitals with casualties. 10.45am - FTSE down by 160 points to 5069.
.41am - All London hospitals begin major incident procedures. Ambulances start arriving at hospitals with casualties. 10.45am - FTSE down by 160 points to 5069. The pound already down by almost a cent against the dollar. 10.47am Leader of the House of Commons Geoff Hoon makes an emergency statement confirming ministers are meeting to assess the situation.
London locks down after terror attackThe entire London Underground network has been shut down following three explosions on tube trains between Aldgate and Liverpool St, at Edgware Road and between Russell Square and King's Cross. Bus services in the central Zone 1 are also suspended, as are National Bus coach services in and out of the capital. The Tube will remain closed for the rest of the day.
Police have confirmed that two people were killed at Aldgate, and that there were "several fatalities" at Edgware Road. London's police chief said traces of explosive had been found at one site. A rescue operation is currently underway to release "many casualties" trapped in a train in a tunnel near King's Cross.
There was also an explosion on a bus in Tavistock Square, apparently the work of a suicide bomber. Dr Lawrence Buckman of the British Medical Association, whose headquarters is in nearby Tavistock Rd, treated victims at the scene and counted "10 dead, nine critical, nine walking wounded".
A further 150 seriously-injured casualties are currently in hospitals across London. Alastair Wilson, clinical director at the Royal London, said the hospital had admitted 183 patients from two of the incidents. Eight were critically injured, and six were undergoing surgery. Victims' injuries included general blast and limb injuries, and smoke inhalation.
Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, urged people to "stay where you are - the whole London transport network is currently stopped. The safest thing is to stay where you are. Don't call the emergency services unless you have a life-threatening situation."
He further urged the media not to speculate on the cause of the explosions. However the timing and disparate locations bore the obvious hallmarks of a coordinated terrorist attack.
The BBC, however, reports that "Arab sources said the blasts were probably the work of al-Qaeda". Prime Minister Tony Blair confirmed in a live TV statement this lunchtime that it is "reasonably clear" that the explosions were terrorist attacks. For its part, MI5 notes: "It is too early to confirm the cause of the attacks, but the nature of the incident points to a pre-meditated act of terrorism." Blair has left the G8 summit in Scotland to travel to London.
The first underground explosion occurred at 8.49am at Between Aldgate and Liverpool Street. Further explosions followed at Edgware Road and between Russell Square and King's Cross.
British Transport Police originally blamed power surges for the blasts, but the National Grid said that "there had been no problems with its system which could have contributed to the incidents".
Eyewitness Paul Woloszyn of BBC News - who was on a train at the Victoria Line's Blackhorse Road Station - reported: "We were told there was a bomb at Liverpool Street station. I was on the Tube, and they stopped the train and told everyone to get off and evacuate the station."
Vodafone, meanwhile, confirmed that network priority was being given to the emergency services, and that other users' service may be affected accordingly. ®