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Sunday, 15 April, 2001, 09:02 GMT 10:02 UK
Explosion 'has bridge bomb hallmarks'
Hammersmith Bridge
Police set up roadblocks to look for witnesses
The bomb at a sorting office in Hendon, north London, has been compared to the explosion at Hammersmith Bridge in June last year.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Alan Fry, head of Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist branch, said: "We believe [the bomb] contained between half and one pound of high explosives, which was a similar size to the device at Hammersmith Bridge in June last year."

The Hammersmith device exploded at 0430BST on 1 June 2000.

No-one was injured in the blast and the bridge was not extensively damaged by the bomb.

Bridge
Bomb blast tore a hole in a girder of Hammersmith Bridge
Residents living near the scene of the explosion described how windows in their homes were blown out by the force of the blast.

Sarah Pleat was at her home in Goldhawk Road, Shepherd's Bush, about a mile from the scene.

"I was lying in bed when I heard an enormous shudder and the windows started shaking," she said.

"I bolted upright and the tremor lasted for a good few seconds.


I bolted upright and the tremor lasted for a good few seconds.

Sarah Pleat
"I looked out of the window but could not see anything, it was extremely eerie."

Anti-terrorist police set up roadblocks in west London in their hunt for the bombers.

Drivers and pedestrians in Hammersmith and on nearby bridges were stopped, searched and questioned as security in the capital was stepped up.

No-one admitted carrying out the attack, despite speculation that it could have been the work of dissident Irish republicans opposed to the Northern Ireland peace process.

Hammersmith Bridge had been targeted twice before by terrorists, including in 1996 when a powerful Semtex bomb failed to detonate.

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