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World - Europe

Bomb explodes in central London

April 30, 1999
Web posted at: 3:03 p.m. EDT (1903 GMT)

LONDON (CNN) -- An explosion ripped through a busy central London pub on Friday, injuring several people, emergency services said.

The explosion took place in the Admiral Duncan, a gay pub in the heart of the capital's busy Soho district.

The London ambulance service said 15 ambulances had been sent to the scene of the explosion. The London Fire Brigade said up to 30 people were injured.

SKY TV quoted witnesses saying that three people had serious injuries.

Witness Martin Ireland told SKY that the wounded were "lying all over the road in various states of dismemberment. There is glass everywhere, and a lot of confusion. A lot of walking wounded."

Grant Wilkinson said: "My friend and I were still at home, very close to the bomb scene, there was a huge explosion, people panicking, looking very anxious, a lot of pre-theatre people out and about, there's a lot of hysteria around."

He said the streets had been very crowded. "Soho is always crowded at the weekend, but particularly this weekend."

Robert Chung, a waiter at a Chinese restaurant in Old Compton Street. said: "The bomb was in a gay bar next door. There are people lying out on the pavement injured," said Chung. "I heard it go off at around 6:30. There was a very loud explosion."

Johann Steinecker, of a nearby bakery, said: "It sounded like a gas explosion at about 6:30 p.m (17:30 GMT)."

"All we can see is the smoke. There are three big fire engines and an ambulance down there," Steinecker said.

Police have been investigating two bomb attacks in racially mixed districts in London in the past two weeks.

Last Saturday, a nail bomb explosion in Brick Lane, the east London heart of the capital's Bangladeshi community, injured seven people.

On April 17th, a nail bomb injured 39 people in Brixton, a south London district which has a large Afro-Caribbean population.

Police and other organizations have offered a 50,000-pound ($80,000) reward for the arrest of the bombers in the two incidents.

Copyright 1999   The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Neo-Nazi group claims responsibility for London blast
April 24, 1999

London Metropolitian Police
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