Friday, 24 April 2009

Looking Back - IRA Bomb Devastates London

On this day in 1967, a massive bomb ripped through the heart of London, killing one and injuring 40.
The home-made bomb, containing about a ton of fertilizer, was the second to go off in the same area within a year. The first bomb devastated the Baltic Exchange in the Bishopsgate area. Repairs to the Exchange had just been completed, and the building re-opened, when the same banks were damaged again in the second attack. Two churches in the area were destroyed, the medieval church of St Ethelburga's collapsed; another church and Liverpool Street underground station were wrecked.
Following a coded warning, police were still evacuating the area when the bomb went off. Among the injured were security guards, builders, maintenance staff and office workers. The bomb had been hidden in the back of a blue tipper truck.
The damage caused by the Bishopsgate bomb cost £350m to repair. Huge insurance pay-outs contributed to a crisis in the industry and brought about the near-collapse of the worlds leading insurance market, Lloyds of London.