There have been multiple explosions this morning on the Underground in London. The whole system has been closed down. See this report. Initially it was put down to power surges. Radio 5 Live have just reported that Scotland Yard confirm an explosion on a bus in Russell Square. There are injuries.
The Home Secretary will be making a statement to the House of Commons later today.
I will update. Information invited from London-based readers.
Update-1: Someone on radio is reporting a bus on its side in Tavistock Square. See also this report. Some fatalities are now being reported. The bomb on one bus must have been on the top deck, since the roof of the bus was blown off. Government ministers are meeting to discuss the situation.
Update-2 11.15 AM: The Prime Minister to make a statement within the next hour. (The two buses may just be one bus.) Report of a bomb having gone off in a street near Liverpool Street Station. See here and here. Guy talking to Radio 5 Live: 'I was on the third carriage of a train when the second carriage exploded...'
Update-3 11.25 AM: Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair: He thinks there have been about 6 explosions. Edgware Road, King's Cross, Liverpool Street, Tavistock Square, Aldgate, and Moorgate. Many casualties. People in London should stay where they are. The situation is being steadily brought under control.
Update-4 11.45 AM: See here:
Eye-witnesses reported seeing bodies piled in the wreckage of damaged Tube trains.Also here. Radio 5 reporting 2 deaths at Aldgate, and some critically ill people at one of the London hospitals; evidence of explosives at one of the explosion sites at least.
A double decker bus packed with people forced off the underground when the network was shut down was ripped apart by a massive blast.
Eyewitnesses said there were many fatalities.
Update-5 11.59 AM: Royal London Hospital chief exec reporting they have treated 100 casualties, 10 critical - with one fatality there, others elsewhere. Radio 5 Live: The Underground to remain shut all of today. The Home Secretary: 'There have been terrible injuries.'
Update-6 12.07 PM: Notes on Tony Blair's statement: We're trying to establish exactly what has happened. There have been a series of terrorist attacks in London. Deaths and injuries. He will leave G8 and go to London to get reports. Complete resolution to defeat terrorism. Clear that designed to coincide with the opening of the G8. Our determination to defend our values and way of life greater than theirs to cause death and destruction in their desire to impose extremism. They won't succeed. [Blair is the first official spokesman I've heard or read to state what is now obvious - that this is a terrorist attack.]
Update-7 12.15 PM: Fatalities - not yet known how many - at two locations. Reports that the bus explosion was a suicide bomber. Security experts are saying the signs indicate that this is the work of al-Qaida.
Update-8 12.35 PM: Three confirmed deaths - though the report here says 20 (according to a government spokesman). Extra high profile security in Manchester. There's a timeline here. An ambulance spokesman has said that there's an ongoing rescue operation in the underground at King's Cross, with many casualties and, they think, several fatalities.
Update-9 12.45 PM: Map of the explosion sites. Report of the Prime Minister's statement. Eyewitness reports. Eyewitness (talking on the 5 Live) describes the roof being blown right off the top of the bus, 'almost floating in the air'. The Muslim Council of Britain has issued a statement utterly condemning the attacks.
Update-10 12.52 PM: The BBC 'latest' is giving this: '"Many casualties" in train trapped in tunnel near King's Cross, rescue services say'. And this: 'Islamist website carries message claiming responsibility for London attacks'. (See now here.)
Update-11 12.58 PM: Here's an interesting item (h/t: Steve M.):
(Jerusalem-AP, July 7, 2005) - British police told the Israeli Embassy in London minutes before Thursday's explosions that they had received warnings of possible terror attacks in the city, a senior Israeli official said.Update-12 2.05 PM: Pictures here, including of the wrecked bus. Reactions from world leaders. Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the London police on 5 Live is saying that London has been in a heightened state of alert for months now. He says there was no specific information about an attack today. He's talking of 150 seriously injured. London grinds to a halt.
Just before the blasts, Scotland Yard called the security officer at the Israeli Embassy and said warnings of possible attacks had been received, the official said. He did not say whether British police made any link to the economic conference.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the nature of his position. [Also here]
Update-13 3.05 PM: Notes on Rudy Giuliani speaking on 5 Live: My heart goes out to the people affected by this. It reminds me of September 11. I was near Liverpool Street when the first bomb went off. It was very eerie. A dastardly, cowardly act. The best way to deal with it is to stand up to them.
Update-14 4.15 PM: From BBC TV news - confirmed fatalities to date: 21 at King's Cross, 5 at Edgware, 7 at Liverpool Street; plus an unknown number on that bus. See here for a London tribute site. See here for some we-told-you-so reactions.
Update-15 6.55 PM: The death toll has risen to 37. There are more pictures here. The UN security council has passed a resolution, 15-0, condemning the attack. Kofi Annan has called the bombings '"an attack on humanity itself" and has expressed solidarity with the British Government and people'. NATO is to hold an extraordinary meeting of its policy making council.
Update-16 10.45 PM: I'm closing this post now. A last reflection by me, from today's tragedy, is here.