IRA bombs train and Tube station: Two explosions bring disruption to the transport network in London as terrorists introduce new tactic

TWO bombs exploded in London yesterday as the IRA launched a determined assault on the capital's transport system. One damaged an Underground station just before the rush-hour and the other went off inside a train.

No one was hurt but the attacks showed that the IRA is stepping up its campaign. It is the first time a bomb has been planted inside a train carriage in England, showing an increased willingness by the terrorists to risk civilian casualties.

The first bomb went off on the 9.05am Victoria to Ramsgate train which was stopped at Kent House station in Penge, south- east London, after warning calls were received. More than 70 passengers were evacuated and the train was badly damaged.

The second bomb exploded at South Kensington Tube station just before 3.30pm. Warnings had been received 14 minutes previously and the station was evacuated before the bomb went off.

Planting a bomb among passengers on a moving train shows a hardening of terrorist attitudes. The IRA has repeatedly attacked railway stations, track and signalling equipment.

Incendiary devices have been planted on trains and the London Underground system and in one case two passengers were injured when a train went over a bomb.

Geoff Harrison Mee, divisional director of Network SouthEast, said: 'This could have been very serious. If anyone had been in the carriage when the device exploded there would have been carnage.'

Three telephone warnings claiming that there were two bombs aboard the Ramsgate train were given just moments before it left Victoria but it was too late to stop its departure.

The terrorists claimed that the bombs would explode in 30 minutes and the driver of the train was told to make an unscheduled stop at Kent House station. It pulled up at 9.22am and the passengers were evacuated.

A Network SouthEast spokesman said: 'The train was diverted on to a loop at the back of the station where, when it pulled to a halt at the platform, the staff quickly made sure all the passengers were off.'

The bomb, which had been planted in the seventh out of 12 carriages, exploded 17 minutes later. Windows were blown out, seats damaged and the interior of the 30-year-old train was scorched by the blast.

Passengers continued their journey by bus and last night British Transport Police appealed to them to telephone 0800-789 321 with information about anything they might have seen on the train.

Other train services on the line were halted, causing major disruption, and 285 pupils were evacuated from Royston primary school near the station before the explosion. There was no second bomb found on the train.

The line was reopened in time for the rush-hour last night and Network SouthEast was hopeful that Kent House station would reopen today.

The second explosion occurred at South Kensington Tube station five-and-a-half hours later. Two telephone warnings from a man with an Irish accent were received giving London Underground 20 minutes to clear the area.

The station, which remained closed last night, was not expected to be reopened until today. Two hundred people were evacuated from the terminal and the bomb went off 14 minutes after the last call had been received. There were no casualties but services on the District, Circle and Piccadilly lines were badly disrupted.

Chief Superintendent Peter Kruger said that the bomb had gone off in a disused shaft between the Piccadilly Line and District Line platforms. It is thought to have been a small device which damaged brickwork but not the platforms or track.

Later, further disruption was caused when Monument and Bank Underground stations in the City of London were closed by telephoned bomb warnings and parts of the Central and Northern lines were also suspended.

Although recognised code words were used no devices were found.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
News
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
people
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
News
i100
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: UI / UX Designer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...

Recruitment Genius: General Processor

£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - B2B

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot