London Attacked Again - July 21, 2005
LONDON, England (CNN) -- Four "attempts at explosions" have been reported on three London Underground stations and a bus, two weeks after the July 7 terror attacks, the UK capital's police chief has said.
Scotland Yard also confirmed they were looking into an "incident" at University College Hospital, where armed officers have been deployed. Witnesses reported policemen with flak jackets entered the hospital along with dogs.
The hospital is near Warren Street station, where police said one of three small devices detonated. The other blasts were reported at Oval and Shepherd's Bush stations.
Thursday's blasts came two weeks to the day since bombs on three Tube trains on a bus killed 52 people and four of the bombers.
A bus driver reported a "bang" from the top of his double-decker at Hackney Road and Columbia Road in East London, according to the bus company's spokesman.
A spokesman for the company said the windows of the bus were blown out, although this was denied by a police officer at the scene.
"I have seen the bus. There were no windows blown out," the officer told Reuters.
There were no injuries aboard the 26 bus, which travels from Waterloo to Hackney, the driver said.
Transport Police said there was one injury when a device exploded on an underground train near the Warren Street station. There are no other reports of casualties.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said: "We know that we've had four explosions or attempts at explosions. It is still pretty unclear as to what's happened."
"At the moment, the casualty numbers appear to be very low in the explosions. The bombs appear to be smaller than the last occasion," he added.
Blair urged Londoners to "stay where you are and go about your normal business" for the time being.
The area around Warren Street station has been sealed off and a bomb squad is on the scene to check for any other explosive devices.
ITN reported authorities were pushing people further back from Warren Street station and witnesses reported seeing men in chemical suits going down in station.
Scotland Yard said officers "in full protective equipment" were deployed to that central London station "as a precaution."
All three stations were evacuated and four Tube lines -- Hammersmith & City, Victoria, Northern and Bakerloo -- were closed, according to a spokesperson for Transport for London.
Ambulances were called to Oval station at 12:38 p.m. (7:38 a.m. ET). At 12:45 p.m., a call came in from Warren Street.
The ambulance service had no details on the Shepherd's Bush station incident.
Bryce Elder, a witness near the Shepherd's Bush station, said there was a heavy police presence but "no real sense of panic."
Police helicopters flew overhead and areas near Shepherd's Bush station were evacuated. Elder said the station was not very busy.
CNN London producer Katie Turner reported a heavy police presence near the Oval station, including about 30 police vehicles. Roads about 500 meters from the station have been blocked off to vehicular traffic, she said.
A woman who was on the train at the Oval station when the incident happened said she didn't hear a bang, but saw people pushing themselves into her carriage.
She said there was a general mood of panic. The train, which was moving when incident happened, was not packed with people, she said.
Other people said they smelled sour smoke.
An explosives expert contacted by CNN said the "sour smell" reported by people coming out of the underground would likely have come from two sources: the rucksack catching fire; and the explosives themselves catching fire after the detonator failed to explode them. The explosives could actually burn and give a toxic smell.
Prime Minister Tony Blair postponed a planned photocall with Australian Prime Minister John Howard, on an official visit to Britain and planned to address the nation later Thursday.
The White House said President George W. Bush has been informed of the incidents.