London in chaos after blasts07/07/2005 - 10:25:49
A bus was ripped apart in an explosion in central London today and several blasts rocked the Tube network leaving dozens of people injured.
A second bus was also damaged in an explosion.
The Tube blasts were initially blamed on a power surge.
But 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.
The G8 gathering had prompted fears of a terrorist spectacular.
The scale of the explosions and the disruption it has caused the capital’s transport network is bound to provoke comparisons with the al Qaida attacks on the Madrid railway network.
With reports still coming of fresh incidents, union sources said they had received information of a third explosion on a London bus in central London.
Many buses were packed with commuters forced off the tube when the network was closed by the blasts.
Survivors of the Tube blasts described scenes of total chaos.
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.”
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