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Tuesday, May 4, 1999 Published at 13:54 GMT 14:54 UK


Vigil for Soho blast victims

Steve Bustin and other choir members lay floral tributes

A large crowd attended a vigil to mourn the victims of the Soho nail bomb blast.

The nail bomb terror
Shortly after midnight on Tuesday, members of the London Gay Men's Chorus gathered up the bouquets of flowers and messages placed outside the Admiral Duncan pub where the bomb exploded.

In a procession watched by people lining Old Compton Street, they walked several hundred yards to Soho Square where the flowers were laid to create a temporary garden of remembrance.

The BBC's Valerie Jones: Soho Square has become a garden of rememberance
Chorus Chairman Steve Bustin said: "We wanted to have somewhere for people to come to, where they could stop and spend some time to reflect on what's happened."

Royal visit

The event took place hours after the Prince of Wales saw for himself the devastation caused by the explosion when he toured the site.

[ image: A victim is carried away from the scene of the blast]
A victim is carried away from the scene of the blast
The prince met survivors of the blast, which killed three people and injured scores more, and said he was "appalled" by the attack.

He said: "The British never get put down by these sort of things."

The prince later visited some of the victims who are being treated at St Thomas's Hospital.

The BBC's Martine Croxall: "19 people are still in hospital"
Some of the UK's national newspapers on Tuesday reported that Stephen Copeland, the father of David Copeland who is charged with causing the explosion, as well as those in Brixton and Brick Lane, was said to be "devastated" by the attack.

The three people who died in the Soho bombing were Andrea Dykes, who was four months pregnant, the best man at her wedding John Light, and a friend Nick Moore.

'Senseless violence'

Mr Light's family said they were "devastated" to lose him to a "senseless act of violence".

As Old Compton Street returned to some form of normality on Tuesday, the police were still gathering information at a special mobile unit near the scene of the bombing.

"A lot of people would have been in the area at the time and might not necessarily have realised they saw something of significance," said a police spokesman.

"By coming forward and having the station here, it's somewhere they can come and speak to us and we can take their details and that person might help us with that extra little piece of information."

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