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Monday, 6 August, 2001, 14:31 GMT 15:31 UK
Bomb area slowly reopens
Shoppers are returning to Ealing
By BBC News Online's Cindi John

Traders and residents in some areas of bomb-hit Ealing in west London have been told it may be some time before they can return to their shops and homes.

The blast - which left 11 people injured - has been blamed on dissident republican terrorists opposed to the Good Friday Agreement, and has attracted widespread condemnation.

At a meeting on Monday morning John Birch of Ealing council said they had hoped all areas would be open by Monday but anti-terrorist officers had not yet completed their investigations.

Chief Inspector Craig Mitchell said officers were still collecting evidence from the scene.

Ealing Broadway
Some shops in Ealing remain behind police lines

"Some evidence has been blown onto neighbouring roofs by the force of the blast making investigations more time consuming than first thought," he said.

Both the area's shopping centres and shops along The Broadway in the heart of Ealing commercial area remain sealed off.

The area directly around Ealing Broadway station is also still out of bounds though the station itself is open.

'Business suffering'

Meanwhile traders in areas re-opened on Sunday were attempting to get back to normal.

But in the streets only a fraction of the normal number of shoppers were out.

At King's Flower shop in Bond Street, manager Tony Lockwood said business had been hard hit by the enforced two day closure.

Alan Randall
Alan Randall said Ealing's reputation had been damaged
"We usually have plenty of customers in first thing, at least 12-15 customers by mid morning. But today nobody's been in," he said.

Mr Lockwood was also angry that traffic wardens were handing out ticket to traders who came in to check on their businesses once the cordon was lifted on Sunday.

"I would have imagined there would have been some understanding that people were trying to get back in their businesses. It didn't dawn on us traffic wardens would be out," he said.

Alan Randall, the owner of the nearby Art Shop said that damage had been done to the reputation of the area.

"The damage that's been done to Ealing is quite considerable and I think it's going to take a long time to recover.

"A lot of people have lost an enormous amount of money and clients as well," said Mr Randall.

'Shoppers scared'

The manager of a clothing shop just beyond the edge of the police cordon, Loucief Fetah, was also experiencing fewer customers.

Loucief Fetah
Loucief Fetah: "Shoppers scared"

"Probably they are scared to come back again. You see the roads are all empty.

"Usually in the morning we are always busy but it's dead now," Mr Fetah said.

Deborah Cunningham who was out shopping with her children, said her nearby house had been shaken by the blast.

"I think If I didn't live in Ealing I'd probably would have been put off shopping here.

"But it's part of your everyday life and you have to carry on, but it does make you feel more concerned that Ealing is vulnerable,", Mrs Cunningham said.

Deborah Cunningham
Shopper Deborah Cunningham's house was rocked by the blast
But Maria Siemiszko who has lived in Ealing for 40 years said she had not considered shopping elsewhere because of the attack. But that did not mean she was not worried.

"It's quite frightening really, very unpleasant, but I only hope they'll catch who is responsible," Ms Siemiszko said.

However, Arthur Miles who shops regularly in Ealing doubted the bombers would be caught.

"The chances of catching them are very remote. The disruption they've caused here is enormous. It's crazy," said Mr Miles.

'Lucky' the goldfish
'Lucky' the goldfish was found yards from the bomb site
The Ealing bomb contained up to 40kg of homemade explosive and blew up near Ealing Broadway railway station seconds after midnight on Friday.

Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary Sir Ronnie Flanagan said on Sunday he had "no doubt" that those responsible for the attack would be brought to justice.

The chief constable told the BBC's Breakfast with Frost programme the public must translate its outrage into determination help catch the bombers.

One survivor of the blast was a goldfish found by detectives in a shop just yards from where the bomb was placed.

The fortunate fish - inevitably dubbed Lucky by detectives - was discovered in a bowl surrounded by bomb debris.

Anyone with information about the bombing is urged to contact police on 0800 789321.

The BBC's Stephen Cape
"This has been a difficult job for forensic scientists"
Sir Ronnie Flanagan, Royal Ulster Constabulary
"We need full public co-operation"
Alan Murray
is an expert on security issues in Nortern Ireland
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