London explosions

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starbug
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London explosions

Post by starbug » Jul 7th 2005, 8:40 am

Hi All.

Well, this is serious. I'm fine, Mr. S is fine (so far, but he's stuck in his office in the city and has to get home), and every one I know bar two people I haven't heard from is fine. Thank god. I hope I hear from those remaining two people soon.

This morning I arrived at my normal tube station to find the gates closed. The reason being given was that there were 'power surges' and electrical faults on the tube, so there was no network and the advice was to try and get the bus to work (!). So, I tried to get the bus, but there were so many people that you practically had to commit assault to get on one. Eventually I managed it, got another 2 miles down the road, and then there was an announcement on the bus saying it wasn't going into zones 1 or 2, and neither was any other bus. At that point I knew the city was locked down and something big was going on, so I started trying to call people. I couldn't get through to Mr. S because he was in a meeting, but I spoke to my boss who tells me the word on the street was still power surges, and he was trying to get in, walking. So I thought I'd keep going. Then the mobile phone networks went down, and that was it in terms of communication. I met a girl whose phone was working so she allowed me to use it to try and call mr. S (it was 11am by this time) and I made it to Camden town (around 2 miles from my office), but realised it was really reallly serious by then. I then decided I would turn back, but I really wanted to get hold of Mr. S. I waited in a queue for a payphone, and eventually got hold of him in his office.

Thankfully he is being evacuated from his office about now, and is walking to a colleague's house around 3 miles away, and will then be driven out to where we live. I'll feel alot better when we're together.

People are dead, and many are injured, but to be honest it could have been alot worse. I'm feeling pretty lucky in comparison, for having escaped the tragedy. It's weird, because Londoners are a bit more used to it than those in other cities, because of the history of bomb attacks by the IRA. This time it is different though because there were no warnings, and it was indiscriminate. In the past it has always been fairly targetted.

I don't know if I'll be able to go to work tomorrow either.

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Post by starbug » Jul 7th 2005, 8:58 am

I'm just checking back in to say that it's a miracle more people aren't dead, although there are no figures at the time it seems to be in the tens not hundreds. The bombs must have been quite small.

Alot of what you'll see on the news (particularly the blown up bus) is no more than 5 mins walk from my office.

what I'm wondering now is: why weren't people told it was explosions and to go home? We were all led to believe it was just another transport problem, so people still tried to head into central london, when what they should have been doing was going home.

It took me around 4.5 hours from the time I left my house, to the time I got home. If I'd been told the truth at the station, I would have been home within 5 mins in front of the TV and with a phone that worked.

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Post by Sascha (sab) » Jul 7th 2005, 9:11 am

I'm glad you and your husband are alright. This is really an horrific series of attacks and I hope the number of casualties doesn't continue to rise. But I'm afraid we still have a few hours of bad news ahead of us. Such cowarded attacks are probably unavoidable in huge cities like London, New York and Madrid. The pictures of the blown up bus and the reports from eyewitnesses are certainly very disturbing.

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Post by Sascha (sab) » Jul 7th 2005, 9:25 am

starbug wrote:what I'm wondering now is: why weren't people told it was explosions and to go home? We were all led to believe it was just another transport problem, so people still tried to head into central london, when what they should have been doing was going home.
From what I heard on the news they thought at first there was just a power cut-off in subway stations. Then there was a theory of an electrical powersurge or some other technical problem that led to these explosions. Obviously noone knew for more than an hour what was really going on. Only after the news about the blown up bus spread (and got confirmed), it got clear that it wasn't an accident.

I wonder how all these people will get home from work tonight with all public transport services being suspended.

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Post by starbug » Jul 7th 2005, 9:28 am

Sascha (sab) wrote: But I'm afraid we still have a few hours of bad news ahead of us.
I think this could be true. My fear is that there are more, undetonated bombs, but the police seem to be inspecting everything, and there has been at least one controlled explosion.
Sascha (sab) wrote:The pictures of the blown up bus and the reports from eyewitnesses are certainly very disturbing.
The photos people took on the underground are terrible. I just can't believe it. My mother begged me not to take the tube (post 9/11), but I have no other way of getting to work. Buses take 2 hours.

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Post by emmie » Jul 7th 2005, 12:38 pm

starbug wrote:
what I'm wondering now is: why weren't people told it was explosions and to go home? We were all led to believe it was just another transport problem, so people still tried to head into central london, when what they should have been doing was going home.

It took me around 4.5 hours from the time I left my house, to the time I got home. If I'd been told the truth at the station, I would have been home within 5 mins in front of the TV and with a phone that worked.
I thought of you starbug, as soon as I read the news this morning. I'm glad to know that you and those you know are okay. it's scary, because the G8 summit was just 40 minutes from me last year. perhaps having these in smaller cities away from everything is a good idea.

attacking public transportation in a large city is the perfect way to make an impact and affect everyone. and you're right, it's amazing that more people weren't hurt or killed. but even more scary is how long it took for people to realize what was going on. the fact that people were still riding buses and going downtown (as you mentioned) is appalling! and that's what sickens me about terrorists or dangerous protestors: it doesn't matter to them who is killed, only that they get noticed.

I'm thankful today that I live in small tourist city.

glad everything is well with you, starbug and anyone else who is living in London!

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Post by starbug » Jul 7th 2005, 2:29 pm

Sascha (sab) wrote: From what I heard on the news they thought at first there was just a power cut-off in subway stations. Then there was a theory of an electrical powersurge or some other technical problem that led to these explosions.
That's exactly what I was told: 'electrical fault. No tube at all.' And then my boss said 'powersurge, and the word on the street is that there was no terrorist bomb'. So I decided to keep going. I'm sure they wanted to avoid panic but they really shouldn't give people misinformation that leads them into town. Part of the problem was that there was NO information. No public announcements, and people relying on rumour, or intermittent phone connections to people they knew had the internet. There are so many public address systems in London, and they should have been used.
I wonder how all these people will get home from work tonight with all public transport services being suspended.
Walking. It will be along walk for some, and Mr. S arrived home after a 6.5mile walk. In reality people who truly live in London will be able to walk home - geographically I think the maximum you would have to walk is 10 miles, although that would be a problem for children or the elderly, most Londoners should be able to manage it. People who live on overland rail lines will be able to get home because those trains are running. Bus services are back on, so I'll be surprised if that many people really have serious problems. It's just the tube that's down now.

It is an absolute miracle that more people aren't dead. The bus that blew up is literally 50ft from where my study-department is, and I recognised it immediately on the news.

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Post by schris » Jul 7th 2005, 6:53 pm

This was very sad news. Im glad you and Mr. S are ok, Starbug. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all!

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Re: London explosions

Post by lance » Jul 7th 2005, 9:56 pm

starbug wrote:Hi All.

Well, this is serious. I'm fine, Mr. S is fine (so far, but he's stuck in his office in the city and has to get home), and every one I know bar two people I haven't heard from is fine. Thank god. I hope I hear from those remaining two people soon.
Yeah, thank God you guys are okay. When I rolled off the air mattress this morning it was the first thing on the news and I immediately wondered if you were okay.

I am glad that you are.

-LanceMan

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Post by TomSpeed » Jul 7th 2005, 11:38 pm

I second (or more) that emotion. Glad you are OK.
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Post by season » Jul 8th 2005, 5:21 am

I'm glad you're both OK, Starbug.

I didn't know about it until I read Sascha's note of it at 2:15. I was on the bus at 11:10, and the bus never moved after the next stop. I thought of taking the tram but they blocked the main road where the Home Office is. No transport moved for a while. After 10 minutes I got off and assumed it was a big security alert at the Home Office.
Did some shopping, and it wasn't until I was on the internet and found out the last few minutes before leaving to pick up my son at school and when others were talking about a bomb - but they mentioned a bus only and not the stations. I can't believe it took so long for me to know, and realise the size of the mess until I got home.
To think today we should have been on a train passing King's Cross around the same time of the explosion at King's Cross underground yesterday.

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Post by starbug » Jul 8th 2005, 11:28 am

season wrote:I'm glad you're both OK, Starbug.
Yes, I'm glad you're OK too. I must confess I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere near the Home Office... Camden Town was close enough!

Thanks for all the good wishes, folks. Am at work today, but it's very strange. Most people seem to be wanting to get back to normal but there are far more sirens than usual, and there were 2 police at my tube station this morning, just walking up and down the platforms.

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Post by Jody Barsch* » Jul 11th 2005, 2:41 am

Starbug, I'm so glad that you, Mr. S, your family and neighbors are safe. Like many on the forum I thought of you when I heard. Take care, my best to you, Season, and your friends and neighbors as you recover from this tragedy.
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Post by Nothingman » Jul 12th 2005, 6:38 pm

Just wanted to stop by and say I'm glad you're ok starbug. Hope life is beginning to return to normal.
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Jul 15th 2005, 12:37 am

Glad to hear our UK Lifers are okay!
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