Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Explosions Rock London's Transport System

Filed under
Sci/Tech

A series of about six explosions rocked London's public transport system Thursday morning, killing at least two people and injuring others. Mobile and fixed-line telephone networks were severely congested as panicked Londoners called relatives in the city, but there were no initial reports of more widespread communications damage.

The cause of the explosions, which tore through a double-decker bus, an underground station and other locations, was not known early Thursday afternoon, although Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair said the incidents appeared to be the work of terrorists.

London's public transport system was brought to a halt, with all Underground stations and bus routes closed, according to several reports.
Representatives from local operators Orange, O2 (UK), T-Mobile UK, Vodafone, and British Telecommunications all said they appeared to have suffered no damage to their infrastructure.

"Our network is not damaged but we are experiencing a high volume of traffic, forcing customers to dial numbers a few times before they get a connection," a Vodafone spokesperson says. "We're telling them they can expect some delay but they should keep trying."

Orange spokesperson Sarah Taylor says: "No U.K. mobile phone operators have infrastructure in the tube, so there are no base stations that can be affected in the Underground system. "We have taken action to ensure maximum availability and improve traffic flow on our network in the London area."

BT saw a big surge in call volumes, congesting its networks and leading to delays in calls getting through, a spokesperson says.
"We're asking people to only make essential calls," he says.

The news Web site of the British Broadcasting Corp., the state TV and radio company, continued to provide updates on events, although the site was slower to load than usual.

The main BBC Web site at www.bbc.co.uk, which usually carries information about TV programs and entertainment, was unavailable for part of the morning. It came back online around midday in a slimmed-down form, with news headlines relating to the explosions and a warning not to call emergency services except in life-threatening situations.

There was no noticeable variation in the volume of Internet traffic through The London Internet Exchange (Linx), which manages peering points in London for all major U.K. ISPs.

"With the Internet, there's been no effect," says Vanessa Evans, a spokesperson for Linx, adding, "There's a lot of traffic flowing to the news sites, which are holding up very well."

John Blau and James Niccolai
IDG News Service

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Comic-Con and FOSS Comic Book Solutions
    After whetting his appetite at this year’s Comic-Con, our resident Linux newbie discovers free and open source apps for reading digital comics, as well as a treasure trove of available sources for free comics online.
  • Linux Kernel 3.12.62 LTS Improves SPARC Support, Updates the Networking Stack
    Linux kernel developer Jiri Slaby announced the release of the sixty-second maintenance update for the long-term supported Linux 3.12 kernel series, which will receive support until 2017 because of SUSE Enterprise Linux. Linux kernel 3.12.62 LTS is a modest update, and looking at the diff from the previous maintenance release, version 3.12.61, we can notice that it changes a total of 96 files, with 1213 insertions and 1053 deletions. Among the changes, we can notice lots of fixes for the SPARC hardware architecture, but there are various other improvements for the ARM, MIPS, PA-RISC, and x86 instruction set architectures.
  • ‘Anatine’ Is a Simple Desktop Twitter App for Linux
    Anatine describes itself as a 'pristine Twitter app for Linux', but is it anything more than a wrapper around the mobile website?
  • Skype for Linux Alpha 1.3 Released With Small Bug Fixes
    A small bug fix update to Skype for Linux alpha is now available, and fixes, among many changes, errant close to tray behaviour on the Cinnamon desktop.
  • On the killing of intltool
    Say thanks to Daiki Ueno for his work maintaining gettext and enhancing it to make change practical, and to Javier Jardon for pushing this within GNOME and working to remove intltool from important GNOME modules.
  • On discoverability
    I've discussed elsewhere that usability is about real people doing real tasks in a reasonable amount of time. Some researchers also refer to "learnability" and "memorability" to define usability—this is very similar to discoverability. Can you discover the features of the system just by poking at it? Is the user interface obvious enough that you can figure it out on your own?
  • This is Lubuntu 16.10’s New Default Wallpaper
    The default wallpaper of Lubuntu 16.10 — yes, that's Lubuntu, with an 'l' — has been unveiled — but will fans of the lightweight Ubuntu spin like it?

today's howtos

Red Hat and Fedora

Android Leftovers