London's plan for evacuation published

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Hundreds of thousands of people would be evacuated from London in trains, coaches and cars in the event of a chemical, biological or nuclear attack, emergency plans published yesterday say.

Hundreds of thousands of people would be evacuated from London in trains, coaches and cars in the event of a chemical, biological or nuclear attack, emergency plans published yesterday say.

People forced out of their homes by a terror attack would be housed in buildings and sites identified by local authorities. The London Underground, the Millennium Dome at Greenwich and schools and stadiums are thought to be under consideration as mass assembly points under the plans drawn up by the London Resilience Team, which is overseeing contingency plans.

Other plans for a mass evacuation of London are believed to include moving the seat of government to a nuclear bunker in the countryside. Londoners could be moved to reception areas in the Home Counties and re-housed permanently in the event of a small-scale radiation release, or "dirty bomb", which could contaminate parts of the capital.

Plans are also being drawn up to "swamp" any area of London hit by a terrorist strike with mobile phone text messages providing advice. The Army and police would also create safe exit routes for people fleeing London.

Details were not published for "security reasons" but a statement from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister said councils were being asked to make arrangements for directing people to shelters. It added: "These plans are unlikely ever to be used but we have to prepare for the very worst. There is no intelligence which leads us to believe this is likely."

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