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Friday, July 08, 2005


Trying to get back to normality

It's the morning after the day before and now most people will be struggling to get back to normal. Obviously there going to be lots of questions about how this happened, why it happened, who was responsible, how safe is our transport system and many many more questions like this.

As you can see from the post below we and lots of other blogs around London and England have been overwhelmed with messages of support and condolances for the family and friends of the dead. My thoughts are with them and also with the hundreds of people who were seriously injured who have to go on living knowing that their lives will never be the same again.

Most Londoners are now determined to go into work, but please, please be extra vigilant. I remember the aftermath of September 11th and there were hundreds of security alerts on the London Underground in the weeks that followed as every single suspicious thing was quite rightly being reported.

Most overground trains are running although I've just heard (9am) that Euston station was closed due to a security alert, but has just been re-opened. (9.20am) However, now Liverpool Street station has just been closed. There's going to be lots of this going on today.

There is a good bus service and a limited service on the London Underground. But amazingly most of it is up and running.
Transport for London's realtime information page is back up and running, telling us the following:

No Circle Line and Hammersmith & City Line at all.
On the Metropolitan Line there's no service between Baker Street and Aldgate - with a modified service north of Baker Street.
On the Piccadilly Line there's no service between Hyde Park Corner and Arnos Grove.
The District Line has no service between High Street Kensington Station and Edgware Road Station and no service between Earls Court and Olympia.
King's Cross Station is closed.
There's no congestion charge today if anyone want to drive in.

All the emergency services were brillant yesterday and as regular readers of this blog will know we continually berate staff on the London Underground, (who amazingly take it in good spirit) today they will certainly get our thanks, support and best wishes.

Take a look at the blogs of the following station staff to get their take on yesterday's events:

The Station Master
On the District
District Driver

Also have a look at Tom Reynolds from Random Acts of Reality who is an ambulance driver and clearly had a quite a day.

I'm sure I'll be updating later on today - keep the comments rolling in as it will be interesting to hear how everyone is dealing with the aftermath.

[10.30 - Update from Annie]

There's growing evidence that it was a suicide bomber on the number 30 bus yesterday. A number of the passengers saw someone on the bus looking very uncomfortable clutching a bag. One witness even got off the bus a couple of stops before the explosion and clearly looked at the man. How horrific to look in the face of someone who was about to kill and injure many people.

Another press conference is due at about 11 o'clock so doubtless there will be more updates then.

[11.25 - Update from Annie]

Basic summary of this conference with the police:

Sir Ian Blair Police Commissioner

They offered sympathy to the family of the victims and admiration to the people of London. "We've had support from every faith in London, all of whom have condemned the atrocity. We are very pleased with the endorsement from New York's Rudy Giuliani who thought our Metropolitan police were outstanding. Our resolve is to track down the people responsible for these terrible events. There were definitely only four sites - people were leaving from different underground stations from the same incident so this confused matters."

There was only one bus. "Absolutely nothing to show it was a suicide bomber on the bus but it can't be ruled out, but it's completely unproven". More than 50 fatalities - unfortunately there are still bodies to be recovered at Russell Square as they are yet to reach the carriage where the explosion went on. 700 casualities. 100 detained overnight. 22 in serious critical conditions.

"Each device that was used had less than 10lbs of explosives. Where the devices detonated is too early to say. Each device put on the trains was likely to be on the floor of the carriage. With the bus it's unclear it could have been the floor or the seat."

The Aldgate explosion occured in a carriage the third carriage. Expolosion between King's Cross and Russell Square is more complicated but the device was in the first carriage. Regarding Edgware Road it was in the first carriage by the first set of double doors.

"Most important thing is we do need the community's help. They always come up trumps giving us information please call the intelligence investigation line 0800 789 321. We do not want to discount any information that someone thinks is relevant."

Many questions were then asked by the national press and TV stations and doubtless you will see these in newspapers and on TV now.

There's another press conference at around 2pm and Ken Livingstone will be at that one.

[17.30 - Update from Annie]

It's now known that 13 people died in the bus explosion and forensic police are obviously all over the sites at the moment collecting evidence.

I decided to go out and about a bit today just to see how things were on public transport. Not surprisingly it's pretty quiet - I went out about one-ish. I travelled into Waterloo on South West Trains and it was very, very quiet, the only thing I noticed there was the clear plastic bin bags had been removed.

At Waterloo there were a lot of Transport police around (the guys in yellow)

More or less continual announcements about keeping your belongings with you and a reminder that smoking wasn't allowed on any part of the Underground. It was quite weird that the announcements about the lines and stations that were closed kept saying "because of an incident" - that vague term that we're really used to on the tube, but obviously everyone knew what yesterday's "incident" was. Therefore it was a relief to come down the escalators seeing a sign calling the "incident" an "attack".

Onto the tube itself and everyone was engrossed in papers mainly the morning's Metro and the tabloids.

It was quite weird for me reading the report in Metro of "How the Web kept us all in the picture". I'll quote the beginning: "It took just one hour for thse behind yesterday's explosions to claim responsibility on the Internet.

But it took even less time for the online community of bloggers - Internet diarists - to react.

The London Underground blogger Annie Mole went from praising the Olympic success on Wednesday to commenting on the attacks with both a personal reaction and practical updates for commuters.

The website kept a timeline which showed how, as the minutes ticked by, the incident which changed from a bang 'thought to be electrical' to what was 'reasonably clearly' a terrorist attack.......

I travelled onto the Central Line which was much busier than the Northern Line. Again it was all quiet though with people staring into space or engrossed in papers. People who travel on the tube are normally pretty quiet though it's only normally tourists who make a noise.

Finally, a trip back to Waterloo on the Bakerloo Line saw the carriages fairly empty again, but there were two transport police officers on my carriage for a few stops who then got off at Charing Cross and stood around there.

So life does go on. I got on buses as well and the number of people seemed similar to normal. It's good to see people still using public transport. It was good for me to get out and do something normal. Monday I'll be commuting as usual.

; Posted by Annie Mole Friday, July 08, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon