The Day After

Uk_tg_1  From the Guardian's Web site today, the picture clarifies.  The death toll from yesterday's terror attacks in London has grown past 50. The bombs were small, but potent -- each packed fewer than 10 lbs of explosives. The devices on the subway were placed on the floor. Timers were used. No conclusion whether suicide bombers were involved, but suspicion grows about a bus passenger. Neil McIntosh paints this scene:

It's the day after, and London still has a slightly odd feel to it this morning. The tube is running again, except for the Circle and Hammersmith and City lines, which share the same piece of track at Liverpool Street on which seven people were killed yesterday.

Even for a Friday, things are quiet in the City. Police have advised people to consider the need for their journey into work today, and you'd hardly be surprised if many have elected to take a long weekend with friends and family.

In the news, we'll continue to keep an eye on the security situation in the capital - at the time of writing, there has been an alert at Euston station, although they are now letting people back in. There's another scare at our local station - Farringdon - right now, and we'll doubtless see plenty more of these through the day.

The paper's site points to one blogger's account of the day in particular, on a site named Pfff. It is headlined Surviving a Terrorist Attack. The writer was on the tube to work, just past the Edgware Road station when the subway train entered a tunnel.

It was then I heard a loud bang.

The train left the tracks and started to rumble down the tunnel. It was incapable of stopping and just rolled on. A series of explosions followed as if tube electric motor after motor was exploding. Each explosion shook the train in the air and seems to make it land at a lower point.

I fell to the ground like most people, scrunched up in a ball in minimize injury. At this point I wondered if the train would ever stop, I thought "please make it stop", but it kept going. In the end I just wished that it didn't hit something and crush. It didn't.

When the train came to a standstill people were screaming, but mainly due to panic as the carriage was rapidly filling with smoke and the smell of burning motors was giving clear clues of fire.

As little as 5 seconds later we were unable to see and had all hit the ground for the precious air that remaining. We were all literally choking to death.

The writer added some more afterward.

The Observer's blog has discovered a London Ambulance Service driver's blog, called Random Acts of Reality. Blogger Tom Reynolds writes:

London isn't in fear, and we don't seem to be hanging Muslims from lamposts. Instead we are dealing with it, and getting back to normal. This shows the resilience of Londoners no matter the faith, ethnicity or class.

Its message board carries words of appreciation.

On the Going Underground blog, Annie Mole writes that some passengers had their suspicions about someone riding the double-decker bus that blew apart.

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.

The Independent newspaper has more on this.

Richard Jones, 61, a computer specialist from Bracknell, did notice something odd as he sat on the bottom deck of the No 30. A tall man aged about 25, who had an "olive skin", was becoming increasingly agitated. He watched as the young man "kept going down in his bag. I didn't actually see his face but he was becoming more and anxious".

Mr Jones got off the bus - he did not know why - and started walking. He had gone about 10 yards when there was a loud bang. All the pigeons scattered and took off. The roof of the bus flew up in the air.

"It opened up like splitting an olive," he said. "People were crawling over each other. I'm not sure if the bomb was upstairs or downstairs."

The BBC posts amateur video, much of it from cell phone cameras.

A British blog aggregator samples the universe of reaction. Shot by Both Sides does as well.

My favorite so far:

"I hope and I believe that the attacks on London yesterday will be remembered not for how much they changed Londoners and the world but for how much they didn't." - Jim Gleeson

Which leads nicely into this one:

"A friend of mine visits a strip pub, once a week, down by Grays Inn Road. Despite the bombs, he went along this afternoon, and was the only guy with four girls. But, he told me, he felt he had to do it - 'otherwise the terrorists would have won'." - Sean Thomas

Of course, the view of the day's political import depends on your perch. Writing in New York, Danny Schechter, the News Dissector, does fine work assembling various takes and questions that linger from the confusion. Was there a warning ignored? Does the group claiming credit misquote the Koran?

Little Green Footballs wonders if the early-warning story was the work of classic anti-Semitism.

Global Voices captures reaction from Muslim bloggers. Mahmood Al-Yousif of Mahmood's Den in Bahrain writes

The way to beat them is not to give in to them, and more democracy and democratic institutions, a complete overhaul of the education system in the Arab and Muslim worlds and the full separation of Mosque and State. The time is now. We have to get this done. Otherwise we will be completely left behind and will suffer much more at the hands of these terrorists. My heart and thoughts go to the people of the United Kingdom in this very difficult time.

Posted 07/08/2005 11:45:51 AM

But, he told me, he felt he had to do it - 'otherwise the terrorists would have won'." Now that's what I call facing tragedy with "a stiff upper lip."

Solve et Coagula
Posted 07/09/2005 09:39:12 AM

London attacks - to stop these people is to stop the wars "Those who demand their freedom and believe they are not bound to respect any law cause the doors of divine world to close before them, and one day the earth's doors will close before them as well. Someone will say: 'But I bow neither before God nor human beings, and no doors have closed to me; I am received everywhere.' This is because you are blind, my friend; you cannot see that the doors on high are already closed to you, and that those below will close to you as well. This will take some time, of course, because consequences do not appear immediately. First, a kind of decree is voted on in the world above, but a certain amount of time elapses before it is put into effect below. With their theories about freedom, people who accept neither moral nor spiritual authority close themselves to everything that could help them, and they are adrift without compass or protection. They do not see the physical and psychic dangers that threaten them, and they lead one another to destruction." Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov

ping: My Wife Flew off with Bono and Branson; Bombed in London 7.7.05 -->
Posted 07/06/2006 09:32:28 PM

On the plane with Richard Branson Following is an edited cross post from Charmaine's Reasoned Audacity, July 1 - 7, 2005. A year ago, Charmaine calls early morning from Edinburgh. "I'm having trouble flying into London," she says. I'm...

ping: London Later on 7.7.05 -->
Posted 07/09/2005 10:18:33 PM

I have a lot to tell you about the events of this last week. My plan today was to write up my notes on the George Clooney appearance qua briefing; yesterday's afternoon protests in Edinburgh; the Wolfowitz speech on...

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