BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

The BBC's Nicholas Witchell
"The communities he attacked... have responded with resiliance and dignity"
 real 28k

Friday, 30 June, 2000, 14:32 GMT 15:32 UK
The Soho bomb victims
Julian and Andrea Dykes: Married in 1997
Julian and Andrea Dykes: Married in 1997
Three people were killed and more than 120 injured during Copeland's three bomb attacks in London in 1999.

The most serious attack took place in Soho. A pipe bomb containing 1,500 nails exploded in the crowded Admiral Duncan pub. Three friends Andrea Dykes 27, John Light 32 and Nik Moore, 31 died in the blast and more than 70 were injured.

Mrs Dykes was four months pregnant when she was killed. Her husband, Julian, 26, received serious shrapnel injuries and burns. He did not learn of her death until three weeks after the attack.

'I was on fire'

John Light died in the bomb
John Light died from his injuries
In his statement read out at the trial he said:

"I remember an enormous rush of air and an orangey flash of light. Then I was on fire. I did not see the other four."

Mr Dykes said he ran out of the pub. "I was waving my hands trying to put myself out.

"I was sitting on the kerb opposite. My bum was wet and I believe someone had poured water over me. A shoe was missing. I cannot remember anything about what was going on after the bomb."

Mr and Mrs Dykes, John Light and his partner Gary Partridge, all from Colchester, had travelled to London to see the Abba musical Mamma Mia. They had met up with Mr Moore, who lived in London.

Mr and Mrs Dykes had been married in August 1997. The couple had chosen Mr Light, best man at their wedding, as a godparent. The trip to London was his way of thanking them.

'I saw a flash of light'

Nik Moore
Nik Moore was ordering drinks at the bar when he was killed
In his statement to the court Mr Partidge, who was injured in the blast, said:

"We were in good humour and chatting. We were all happy. All of a sudden I saw a flash of light - I cannot remember where it came from.

"I heard a popping sound like a champagne cork. I instinctively ducked and covered my face and head...

" It appeared to be very calm for a few seconds, then I heard people beginning to shout and scream."

Mr Partridge described the moment when he found his partner, Nik Light.

"At first I thought he had lost a leg, but when I looked again I realised that was because it was so soaked in blood. His hair was burnt.

Terrible injuries

gary reid
Gary Reid lost part of his leg and several fingers in the Soho bomb
"He was conscious and complaining that he couldn't breathe. The people laid him on the street. I heard him call out Julian's name."

Mr Light later died from his injuries.

Many of those who survived the blast were very badly wounded. Four lost lower limbs and another lost an eye.

They include Gary Reid, 44, whose leg and middle fingers on his left hand have been amputated.

"I remember looking across the bar. There was no noise. I was still standing.

"I have no memory until five weeks later when I woke up in St Thomas's hospital," he said.

Professor Gus McGrouther, professor of plastic surgery at University College Hospital, who treated some of the survivors, said the injuries were worse than those seen in IRA attacks and among war victims.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
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