In Memoriam: 2005-07-07 London Transport bombing

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In Memoriam: 2005-07-07 London Transport bombing

Tuesday 5 July 2005

After the Live 8 concerts, the awarding of the 2012 Olympics, and as the G8 summit was getting underway in Scotland, a series of explosions targeting the London transit system has the Underground and the buses halted. Seven Four explosions, one on a bus, and the rest on the Tube. 2 37 38 37 fatalities.

London Underground

We're great fans of the city and its citizens, and we're thinking of you, fellow urbanites.

London Underground

We can't get streaming video from the BBC 'cause it's down. Audio is just fine. Ditto with the offical Tube home page. CNN is showing no problems at all.

This is what we're seeing: the bus is now said to be the location of the first suicide-bombing in the UK.

[Update at 04:50 Pacific Time - as the East Coast wakes the BBC web pages are going down. I guess they'll be checking that "scalability" part of the requirements document.]

The Reverand Ian Paisley, Member of Parlament from Northern Ireland, spoke in the House of Commons. He mentioned "the Troubles" with the IRA, and asked that next of kin be informed before the media ring them up.

Readers of my travelogues may recognize some of these place-names:

London satellite map
satellite imagery from

The bombed bus exploded at Tavistock Square, behind the Royal National Hotel, where we recently stayed. Half a year ago we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast in Russell Square, near our usual Coptic Street digs and nearby eateries. (And not on this map, but germane, the kids' favorite London entertainment, the London Transport Museum.)

Later in the day we see the response in Times Square, New York City:

Times Square, New York City

Most interesting thing I've heard so far: (on Fark, at 06:45) hoonis said "Sky just said that Scotland yard called Israel just before the blasts to say there were warnings of terrorist attacks." (Haven't seen this mentioned elsewhere.)

Another thing I learned today is that whereas we tend to commonly use the word "casualty" to mean those killed, in British English it refers to both the injured and the dead.

In a way they couldn't have imagined yesterday, Londoners now viscerally comprehend what sort of a security nightmare the 2012 Olympics will be. I'm sure they can bring it off, but not trivially.

Winston Churchill's middle finger "...let us therefore brace ourselves to our duty and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth lasts for a thousand years men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'"

   -- Sir Winston Churchill, 18 June 1940, announcing the fall of France and the start of the Battle of Britain.

Have you found errors nontrivial or marginal, factual, analytical and illogical, arithmetical, temporal, or even typographical? Please let me know; drop me email. Thanks!

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