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Friday, July 2, 1999 Published at 17:52 GMT 18:52 UK


Bomb tragedy pub reopens

Celebrations as the Admiral Duncan reopens

The Soho pub which was wrecked in a nail bomb attack nine weeks ago has reopened.

The nail bomb terror
The Admiral Duncan pub opened its doors at 1837 BST, the precise moment the explosion happened in April.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the bar in Old Compton Street for a short ceremony, including a minute's silence in memory of the victims of the blast.

Three people died and dozens more were injured when the blast ripped through the pub, which was a favourite with the gay community.

The BBC's Heather Lima reports on 'an emotionally charged evening'
The manager, Mark Taylor, and his team of five staff are all returning to run the pub, which is owned by Scottish & Newcastle.

"The staff and I feel so lucky to be back at the Admiral Duncan,'' said Mr Taylor.

"We have received incredible support and letters from all over the world, from people who don't even know us.

[ image: John Light died instantly]
John Light died instantly
''The local community, the emergency services, the council and the team at Scottish & Newcastle - all have been fantastic and have really pulled together to help us get back here today.

"We will never forget what happened, and there will be a permanent memorial inside the pub commemorating those who died or were injured in the attack."

Mr Taylor, 31, suffered extensive burns, a nail was found in his arm as well as other shrapnel and glass injuries.

Remembering the dead

It is understood the interior has been exactly recreated - with one addition. A specially-sculpted new light has three flickering candles and 86 twinkling bulbs - one for each of the dead and injured.

[ image: Three died in the attack on the pub]
Three died in the attack on the pub
"I am very proud of Mark and his team who have shown tremendous courage over the last two months and we are delighted that they are all returning,'' said David Watson, managing director of the pub's owners.

''A great number of people have worked very hard to reopen the pub, and I'd like to thank them for their efforts."

Pregnant Andrea Dykes, 27, from Colchester, Essex, was killed when the bomb tore through the pub on 30 April.

Her husband Julian, 25, was seriously injured. John Light, 32, best man at their wedding, and friend Nik Moore, 31, also died.

David Copeland, 23, of Cove, Hampshire, has been charged with murder and causing an explosion.

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