Hackney, Shepherd's Bush, Warren Street
Those are the rumours so far. Warren Street smoke confirmed by an eyewitness friend of a friend so far. Updates to follow...
Bunch of cunting bastards.
Oval tube as well, apparently. Hackney Road is apparently a bus. Warren Street may be outside, Reuters reporting a nail bomb.
Shepherd's Bush not necessarily an explosion, just "a device".
If people have any information about today's incidents, they are urged to contact the confidential anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321.
13:52 - "Code Amber" official. Tube network being shut down. Sniffer dogs at Euston Square tube. Fire engines at University College Hospital, over the road from Euston Square, 30 seconds from Warren Street. One of the hospitals casualties from the bombings of the 7th were taken to.
The bus' windows were blown out, but no injuries, somehow. Apparently...
13:54 - eyewitness at Warren Street says it was on a train, Victoria Line. A small rucksack explosion, while the train was pulling into the station. No indication I've heard of north or southbound.
14:00 - Oval eyewitness reports of a man dropping a bag on the train. Area around the station being cordoned off. 15-20 police vehicles being reported. Man ran onto the train, dumped the bag and ran off again, apparently.
14:03 - all we have so far is the bus (no casualties reported), smoke at Warren Street tube, smoke at Oval tube. Nail bomb reports at Warren Street still continuing. No confirmation.
14:06 - This sounds like amateur hour again. Shoddy little devices. One injury reported at Warren Street, but no indication of how bad.
Reuters (currently down)
Guardian Newsblog liveblog
Blair has cancelled his agenda this afternoon. In an emergecny meeting with the Safety Elephant.
Hackney bus was a No.26, but it was a pathetic little explosion. Police have cordoned it off, but aren't approaching in case there's a larger device which failed to detonate. Windows blown out. Device on the upper deck.
14:13 - DLR is running, most of the rest of the tube network's a bit knackered.
Yay for cycling!
14:14 - more reports of the bomber at Oval being a fucking pussy, dumping his bag (big black rucksack) and legging it. These guys are pathetic. If you're going to blow us up at least have the guts to blow yourself up too.
14:16 - Sky reports that armed police have entered university College Hospital. But this is coming from Sky, so take it with a pinch of salt until the BBC confirm it.
14:19 - everything is rumour. It was only 40-50 minutes ago that the first reports came in. At this stage, believe nothing.
Warren Street people in chemical protection suits according to the Associated press, but - if true - likely to just be a precaution because of the lack of any serious explosion.
14:21 - unconfirmed reports of gunshots on the platform at Warren Street.
Believe nothing until it's on the BBC.
14:22 - looks like the mobile network's being shut down again.
14:23 - Blair statement at 15:00
14:24 - not too sure why I dashed back early from the pub now. Sounds fairly minor so far - more of a scare than anything. Copycats? Seems a pretty poor effort at mass death and destruction at any rate...
Andrew Ian Dodge also reporting (via Tim Worstall, who may or may not be liveblogging again)
14:28 - Scotland Yard have confirmed an "incident" at University College Hospital. Unconfirmed reports of an explosion inside the hospital buildings.
Yeah - THAT's brave, isn't it? Blow up the sick, doctors and nurses? Brilliant...
14:33 - Sky News seems to be working but you can't trust it for shit.
Looks like there are 3 or 4 suspects on the loose. No descriptions as of yet. The ones from Warren Street and Oval apparently fled out of the main station entrances, so will be on CCTV and won't get far. Fucking amateurs! What the pissing hell is the point, exactly? Paltry little explosions, don't even kill yourselves, and do it in the most heavily-filmed city in the world, where CCTV cameras cover pretty much every inch? What the hell are they playing at?
14:42 - two weeks ago we were asking "is this the best they can do?" Well, no answer to that one yet - but it appears it certainly wasn't their worst. This is - from currently available information - likely to go down in history as the most half-arsed terrorist attack ever.
14:47 - From Sky News - "Victoria Line train passenger Ivan McCracken told Sky News he spoke to an Italian man who witnessed an explosion just after the train arrived at the platform:
"He told me he had seen a man carrying a rucksack which suddenly exploded. It was a minor explosion but enough to blow open his rucksack. Everyone rushed from the carriage. People evacuated very quickly. There was no panic."
Claim of responsibility from some tinpot terror cell blathering on about "Britain quaking in fear" in T minus 5... 4... 3...
You'd think they would have learned by now.
14:54 - Tim Worstall confirms I'm not mad by suggesting what I've been thinking - this could be a far right BNP/National Front/Combat 18 piss-poor attempt to stir up more Islamophobia. It certainly has all the hallmarks - incompetence, nailbombs, running away like big girls... See my post saying the BNP have a lot to gain from last week.
I genuinely wouldn't put it past them.
15:00 - Blair expected any time, but he's likely too busy celebrating the Aussies being slaughtered in the Cricket. Which has carried on playing in London throughout this pathetic attack.
The BBC has some pictures of a few Londoners milling about going "you what?"
15:14 - Mobile network isn't shut down, as I've just made a call. Which would tend to suggest they aren't taking this too seriously.
15:17 - Blair should have been on by now. Still probably celebrating the cricket.
This has got to be a first - cricket more interesting than a terrorist attack.
15:20 - slight delay on this, but via Tim worstall and sky News, police looking for a six foot black or asian man near UCH. I suppose he could have been the BNP's DJ (remember that? Heh...), if not, perhaps it's just shoddy regular dicks.
15:25: Katie, Via email - "Neil, biochemist, says: "Okay, all the eyewitnesses on tv are talking about a sour smell. A "bad" batch of TATP will smoulder rather than explode and produce a sour smell and smoke...."
Hmmm... Hadn't heard the "sour smell" before now... Worrying again.
Also a man has been arrested at the Ministry of Defence, apparently...
15:28 - TATP is triacetone triperoxide, cheapo homebrew plastic explosive. Not so worried again now. Info: "First employed by Palestinian bomb makers, the highly unstable TATP — also known as the “Mother of Satan” — is difficult to detect by dogs and conventional hi-tech methods, such as nuclear quadrupole resonance."
15:33 - Blair/Clarke expected soon. TATP thing is entirely unconfirmed. BBC reporting dummy devices. I'd go with the BBC on this.
15:42 - Police are appealing for anyone with mobile phone images, pictures or video from any of the four sites to send in their images via a website.
Blair and Aussie PM John Howard holding press conference. Radio cutting out, so can't provide live coverage.
15:50 - gist of it - no casualties and the situation is under control. Sounds like early calls of amateurs were about right. Not sure about the reports via Robin of reporters being told to turn off cameras in Whitehall following that earlier arrest. Haven't heard anything definite from that way - anyone?
15:54 - From Daniel Johnson via email: "itv.. live footage of man being led away by police from whitehall. police pushing camera man away but he stays on the guy as they take him to the side and search him from top to bottom.
"'situation under control' but numerous asian people around Whitehall getting arrested, very interesting."
15:58 - I've heard some rumours from a few places now that at one of the other bomb sites there was a caucasian man seen with a smoking rucksack and then running from the scene. A contrast to the black/asian guy with wires hanging out of his pockets reported at UCH. Anyone know if there's any confirmation to the white guy rumours? Not unheard of for there to be white Muslims, obviously, but would be different...
Still, no one seems to fussed by this again, and the whole thing seems a bit of a damp squib. Whitehall situation still remains interesting though... Probably just precautions though.
16:00 - Reports of police searching people's bags on Tottenham Court Road. (For non-Londoners - this is the street that runs south from Warren Street Tube, towards Oxford Street.)
16:05 - police have officially ruled out any chemical weapons. Looks like they WERE just duds then.
16:16 - BBC handy summary of confirmed info:
Injuries: Reports vary between none and one minor.
Shepherd's Bush: Reports of small explosion but details unclear. Eyewitnesses reportedly see man run from scene. Large area cordoned off.
Oval: Man runs off train after a small bang as train reaches station, eyewitnesses reportedly say. Large area cordoned off. Police tests show no traces of chemical agents.
Warren Street: Witnesses report hearing bang at front of train, passengers running to back of train and evacuating at station. Large area cordoned off. Police tests show no traces of chemical agents.
Hackney Road: Windows of number 26 bus travelling from Waterloo to Hackney blown out by small blast. Large area cordoned off.
University College Hospital: Armed officers deployed for "incident". Large area cordoned off.
16:31 - Wikipedia's doing well again.
16:33 - One of the men being hunted is apparently "between 5 and 6 feet tall". That's helpful...
16:43 - Bloody hell - the traditional media are really into their blogs this time... - Financial Times blog roundup already! (link fixed)
16:48 - this is getting to the "move along, nothing to see here" stage.
Pah - back to the cricket. (Oh, and the job, obviously...) I'll keep an eye out for any more developments, but looks like this was a bit weak.
Only two suspects reported as being in custody that I'm aware of so far, though, so there's likely to be a couple still on the loose.
In summary? Amateurs.
15:55 - 39-5? what the fuck? That's almost as pathetic as these bombs.
17:02 - more reports of St Alban's station (north of London) being cordoned off. Also (in the comments) - " Something's up at Ludgate Hill. City Thameslink closed, St Paul's Churchyard closed, cops everywhere."
Hmmm... Have they tracked one of them down? The guy from the bus, maybe?
17:24 - still no more on that St Paul's thing. Probably nothing.
The sole injury was apparently an elderly woman at Warren Street, not one of the bombers as speculated, but she's doing OK.
So, you chuck a bomb that doesn't work properly, hurt a little old lady a bit, and then run away like a big girl - and we're meant to be scared? Pffft!