Officials say bombers failed after explosions hit three subway stations and a bus

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated July 21, 2005 09:00 AM

Four small explosions occurred Thursday in the London subway and on a bus, just two weeks after the terrorist bombings on the city’s transit system, British police said.

The explosive devices were detonated in three London Underground stations – Warren Street, Oval and Shepherd’s Bush stations – and a bus in London’s Bethnal Green area had its windows blown out by a blast. At least one person was injured in the incidents.

Police Commissioner Ian Blair said forensic evidence collected from the crime scenes could provide a “significant break” in solving the case. As for the bombs, Blair said they “appear to be smaller than on the last occasion,” and that the explosions were “pretty close to being simultaneous.”

In a press conference Thursday, British Prime Minister Tony Blair urged people to remain calm. “We know why these things are done, to scare people and make them anxious and worried,” said Blair. “We’ve just got to react calmly…We’ve got to respond by keeping to our normal lives.”

Blair also expressed confidence in the British people’s ability to deal with the incidents. “The spirit of London and Britain was represented again today, when people came together in Trafalgar Square. I saw the headlines that said, ‘London United,’ and that’s how we are.”

Though no deaths were reported, Police Commissioner Blair described the bombings as “a very serious incident.”

Witness Ivan McCracken told Sky News: “People were panicking. But very fortunately the train was only 15 seconds from the station.”

The incidents, which happened at midday, coincided with a memorial service for victims of the attacks of July 7, which killed more than 50 people, the Associated Press reports.

“I was in the carriage and we smelled smoke – it was like something was burning,” said Losiane Mohellavi, 35, who was evacuated at Warren Street.

“Everyone was panicked and people were screaming. We had to pull the alarm. I am still shaking.”