You are viewing an obsolete version of the DU website which is no longer supported by the Administrators. Visit The New DU.
Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

Reply #74: The London Blasts: A Firsthand Account [View All]

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News Donate to DU
norml Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:32 AM
Response to Original message
74. The London Blasts: A Firsthand Account
The London Blasts: A Firsthand Account
A FORTUNE reports finds himself on a bus right behind the one that was bombed today in the U.K.
By Nelson Schwartz
Thursday, July 7, 2005

Even before I heard and felt the blast, something seemed not right in London. I was heading back from my office on Waterloo Bridge to my home in Hampstead after pulling an all-nighter. When I walked out on to the bridge to catch a cab at 9:30 am, I saw one emergency vehicle after another go by, lights flashing and sirens wailing. I figured it was a security alert or maybe had something to do with yesterday's Olympic win. There wasn't a single free cab, though, and my usual bus, the 168, wasn't anywhere in sight, even as other buses came and went.

Finally the 168 arrived and I got on. It was more crowded than usual, but it was the normal mix of commuters and the kind of eccentrics who seem to ride the bus in every city. People seemed more talkative than usual for London, though, and I overheard that tube stations were closed and there was a power surge in the Underground. The London Tube is famously unreliable, and I thought, great, another breakdown. Finally a seat opened up, and I sat down next to a young woman with brown hair and glasses. I kept hearing more and more emergency vehicles, though, so I called a reporter friend and asked what was up. She told me the Tube was shut and there were power surges east to west.

A couple of seconds before 10 am, between Euston and Russell Square, I turned the woman next to me, and said is the tube really closed? As she answered, we heard a distinct, deep echoing BOOM. The bus shook ever so slightly. There was silence, followed by muted shouts on the bus, as people asked 'What was that?' Most of the passengers rushed to the exits and the doors opened but it was a typical London rush, fairly orderly and no pushing or shoving. I immediately thought it was a bomb after having lived through 9/11 in Manhattan, and having heard similar booms during the very brief time I was in Iraq. But then I thought, maybe it was a transformer blowing out from the power surges, and post-9/11 urban anxiety was getting the better of me.

I kept calm and stayed on the bus. Where was I going to go, I thought. The bus was moving forward, and even if it were terrorism, they weren't going to attack multiple targets. A Madrid-like attack hadn't yet crossed my mind. My bus crept forward for about three minutes and it was at that point I looked through the windshield and saw what looked like a double-decker bus in Tavistock Square, except the front was crumpled and the top was sheared off. I honestly couldn't process what I was seeing for a moment, and then the familiar images from Israel registered in my brain and I realized it was a blown-up bus. Through trees, I could see splattered blood on the cement walls of the building closest to the front of the bus.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top

Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC