BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in: UK
Front Page 
World 
UK 
England 
Northern Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Monday, 6 August, 2001, 13:31 GMT 14:31 UK
'Shrapnel on my stairs'
Sign warning that road is closed
Some of Ealing remains sealed off to residents
BBC Sport Online's Alistair Magowan is still unable to return to his house, days after the Ealing bomb.

The bomb went off on Thursday night. It is now Monday and we still have not been allowed back into the flat.


We ended up spending the night with our neighbours' friends, watching the news into the early hours

Alistair Magowan
I was allowed into the house with a police escort in order to get some clothes on Saturday afternoon.

But then I had to stay with my grandparents as there was still confusion over when we would be allowed to move back in.

It has been an inconvenience but there was a piece of shrapnel at the bottom of our stairs which looked like it had been blown over the flats, so I can understand the need for the police to search the area extensively.

Hopefully we can get back in late on Monday and at least start to clear our flat from the all the broken glass that lays on the carpets.

Click here to see a map of the blast area

It all began with a pretty quiet evening.

A few people were making their way home from the pub when I turned off my light and began to drift off to sleep.

It was only a minute or so later that I heard an almighty bang. At first I thought lightning had struck the house, but then my flatmate shouted that his window had been blown in.

Quickly we ran to our front room window, which was also smashed, to see a sight which would quickly awaken anyone.

Alarms were ringing, people were screaming and at the end of our road the reflection of a fire inferno shined on the windows and walls on the main street. It was then we realised it was a bomb.


Alarms were ringing, people were screaming and at the end of our road the reflection of a fire inferno shined on the windows

Alistair Magowan

I put on my clothes and rushed down to the street below to see if I could help what I thought would be a scene of carnage.

There were a couple of people on the floor, who were being attended to by friends, but luckily they looked either in bad shock or not too seriously injured.

Everywhere people were calling the emergency services on their mobile phones.

Perhaps stupidly I walked down to the main street where the bomb had gone off to see if there were any others injured.

But somehow there did not seem to be anyone injured on the floor near to the car.

There may have been 30 people by now looking at a scene which looked like something out of a war zone.


Most people were really friendly and were asking if others were okay

Alistair Magowan
The funny thing was that we were able to be this close. I could not understand where the police were - it must have been roughly three or four minutes after the bomb went off.

I was scared another bomb might follow so I turned and walked away from the main street.

Just as I started to run a police car pulled up at the end of the street and a policeman jumped out shouting everyone to clear the area.

We were cleared from the street immediately and stood with our neighbours discussing what had just happened.

Avoided BBC bomb

Most people were really friendly and were asking if others were okay.

We ended up spending the night with our neighbours' friends, watching the news into the early hours and realising what had occurred only 100 metres from our flats.

Both my flatmate and I had just left the building after the bomb went off outside BBC TV Centre but this latest incident in Ealing was definitely the closest I ever want to get to a bomb.

I still cannot believe that no-one was more seriously hurt or even killed.

Click here to return
See also:

Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories