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More than fifty people killed, 700 injured in -

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More than fifty people killed, 700 injured in London bombings

AM - Saturday, 9 July , 2005 08:00:00

Reporter: Rafael Epstein

ELIZABETH JACKSON: British authorities are still retrieving bodies from the London Underground
after Thursday's bombing.

London's police chief, Ian Blair, revealed that bodies of people killed remained in the train that
was bombed near Kings Cross station in one of the system's deepest tunnels.

He said all living people had been recovered, but it was decided that the dead would be left there
because it was too dangerous to attempt to retrieve the bodies.

The official death toll now stands at more than 50 with more than 700 injured.

The Police Chief has urged citizens to remain vigilant and he's warned that another blast is
possible as security is tightened across the city.

Clues are now emerging that the attacks were well planned and executed, and designed to cause
maximum disruption.

Police yesterday revealed at least two of the three bombs that exploded in the Underground train
system were fitted with timer devices left in packages on trains, as Rafael Epstein reports.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: Another potentially vital clue, footage taken on a mobile phone just after the bomb
at Edgeware Station, a half hour before police had believed it'd occurred.

POLICEMAN: Remain calm. As soon as we're ready to evacuate we'll get everybody else...

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: The wounded on the train next door can be heard screaming for help.

(Sound of woman calling for help)

And a woman can be heard asking the driver what happened. She's told it was a bomb.

PASSENGER: What was it?

DRIVER: I think it was a bomb (inaudible) on the train next to us.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: Travel into London on any route and the increased security is obvious. Police
officers at every tube station, every passenger on a bus warily examining bags of fellow
passengers.

And there's a reason for that. Police Commander Sir Ian Blair is continuing to warn another blast
is possible, that there may be another cell of whatever group was behind Thursday's attacks.

IAN BLAIR: There is likely to still be a cell, whether these people are still in the United Kingdom
is a question, and we will remain vigilant, we must remain vigilant. This is a national issue, it's
not just for London and the metropolitan police service.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: Whatever physical evidence is gathered, what the public saw will be just as
crucial. Already those on the bus that was destroyed say they saw a man acting nervously
continually standing up and sitting down and obsessively checking his bag, though officials say
talk of a suicide bomber is unsubstantiated.

Andy Hayman, the head of the police anti-terrorist branch.

ANDY HAYMAN: The community, as ever, are our eyes and ears, and they will see things that are a
little bit different to the norm to give us the information intelligence that may or may not make
the difference.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: Police are only giving a death toll of somewhere more than 50, explaining that the
extensive devastation on the bus and especially on one of the trains, means it's still not clear
how many bodies are yet to be recovered.

ANDY HAYMAN: It is a very deep tube line, the exact depth I don't know, but it's one of those which
is reached by a lift, it's very much underground, it will take some time, and it's quite dangerous
down there. All injured were removed. It's now the very difficult task of removing the dead.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: That lack of certainty is painful. Families are posting notices near bomb sites
asking if anyone's seen their relatives. One couple have had no contact with their son since just
before the bombs went off.

FATHER: We last had contact from him yesterday morning, about 8.30 when my wife exchanged a text
with him, and that's the last contact we've had. We've had no contact whatsoever ever since.

MOTHER: We've just run out of ideas.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: But another woman is lucky in some ways, in the morning she was walking the streets
looking for her best friend.

VOX POP 1: Well it's over 24 hours now. We do have hope because she's a fighter and you know, and
if she is somewhere, you know, she will think of the best form of action to take, and she'll know
that we'll be thinking of her and she'll know we want to hear from her.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: A few hours ago, news came through that her friend is lying critically ill in
hospital. Those in hospital, including two Australians who are also critically injured, have
difficult feelings about those who hurt and killed so many.

VOX POP 2: I have no words to describe them. At the moment I don't have any anger 'cause I'm
literally trying to concentrate on getting better. I can't understand it, I don't know if I ever
will, but I will be angry, I will be angry.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: London is getting back to normal, the streets are as full of people and traffic as
they ever were, and it was the Queen, in a staunch public appearance at a hospital, who put words
to the resilience of the city.

QUEEN ELIZABETH II: I want to express my admiration for the people of our capital city, who in the
aftermath of yesterday's bombings are calmly determined to resume their normal lives. That is the
answer to this outrage.

Sadly, we in Britain have been all too familiar with acts of terror, but those who perpetrate these
brutal acts should know that they will not change our way of life.

(Sound of clapping)

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: But with Londoners still asking questions, some in the media asked police chief,
Sir Ian Blair, why Australia's Prime Minister was the first Government official anywhere to speak
of a death toll over 50, with his quotes published prominently in some newspapers.

REPORTER: But is it right that we're getting updates on death tolls via the Australian Prime
Minister when there are so many people who want regular updates and are concerned about loved ones?

IAN BLAIR: Well, I can't comment on what the Australian Prime Minister says. I'm here at 11 o'clock
this morning, 27 hours later on to tell you what we know at the moment.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: Every British police officer, intelligence official and many military people are
now taking part in a massive investigation, the biggest ever examination of footage from security
cameras and security organisations yet again looking at the way they work to see if they can find
out how this one slipped through the net.

In London this is Rafael Epstein reporting for Saturday AM.