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What could possibly go wrong with missiles in the East End?

From Wikipedia,

Construction of the Central Line’s eastern extension was started in the 1930s, and the tunnels were largely complete at the outbreak of the Second World War. While some stretches were used as underground factories, with the advent of the Blitz, Bethnal Green station was used as an air-raid shelter, unofficially at first, and then with official blessing.

By 1943, the numbers using the station as a shelter had dwindled, only rising when retaliatory bombing in response to Royal Air Force raids was expected. This was the case on 3 March 1943, as the British press had reported a heavy RAF raid on Berlin on the night of 1 March. The air-raid Civil Defence siren sounded at 8:17 pm, causing an orderly flow of people down the short flight of steps into the underground booking office area. At 8:27, an anti-aircraft battery a few hundred yards away in Victoria Park launched a salvo of a new type of anti-aircraft rocket. The weapon was secret and the unexpected, unfamiliar sound of the explosion caused a panic and mass hysteria. As the crowd surged forward towards the shelter, a woman tripped on the stairs, causing many others to fall. Within a few seconds 300 people were crushed into the tiny stairwell. 172 people died at the scene, with one more dying in hospital later; 62 of the dead were children.

Just sayin’ is all.

10 Comments

  1. Mr Ed says:

    They won’t allow people to shelter this time, it’s not safe to use a station as a shelter, you see.

    And then there’s no Planning Consent for change of use……

    Even then, the IOC might not llow it, they might want a brand sponsor for any approved shelters….

  2. Lynne says:

    Let’s hope the Fuck Up Fairy doesn’t put in an appearance.

  3. RAB says:

    Who needs to hijack an airplane? The Govt is doing a terrorists job for them with a massive leg up. Just take the batteries and point them at the Stadium, or any goddam where. Far more destructive power than any terrorist could amass in secret by themselves.

  4. NickM says:

    RAB,
    Part of my point was given the crowds for London 2012 at some transport choke-point all a young dusky-looking lad has to do is open his coat and show what looks like a suicide vest – the Semtex could be marzipan for all it matters and yell, “Alahu Akbar” and the paranoia-induced panic would do the rest.

    Lynne,
    I fear we shall be offering an executive box to Mr Cock-Up.

    Mr Ed,
    A little-known fact. If you run a venue that can host weddings you need an H&S certificate. If you also now want to host gay or lesbian civil partnerships you need (at large expense) that re-doing as a change in use. Certainly by some councils. Any excuse for a few extra quids for pointless bureaucracy. So absolutely what you say.

  5. Putting missiles on people’s roofs is something Saddam Hussein or Gaddafi would have done. Cameron will be walking around soon with a golden pistol.

  6. NickM says:

    And let’s hope shortly afterwards found in a hole or storm-drain…

  7. Thornavis says:

    Isn’t it an odd country we live in, you and I are not allowed to own a small hand gun but the state can stick bloody great missiles on someone’s roof.

  8. Sam Duncan says:

    Oh, they didn’t allow it last time, Mr. Ed. Until they had to, after those pesky people kept using them as such. Once the bombs start falling, a government’s priorities tend to shift away from moving hordes of the great unwashed out of tube stations. It’s a fixed part of the official war story now, but at the time it was definitely frowned upon.

    According to Richard North, anyway. And I can well believe it.

    It’s interesting that I’ve never heard any stories of Glasgow’s Subway stations being used in the same way. Certainly, central Glasgow was never hit as hard as, say, Clydebank*, but there were certainly raids. I expect our lot were better at keeping the gates shut.

    *My dad, who comes from the Vale of Leven, at the southern end of Loch Lomond, recalls bombed out Bankies walking up the Main Street of Alexandria as he made his way to school (which turned out to be closed, in order to accomodate them), “looking just like the refugees you see on telly today, with nothing but the clothes they stood up in”.

    Michael, Thorny: Amen to both.

  9. CountingCats says:

    In crimnal cases there is a presumption of innocence under the common law, but these are not criminal cases. Why should there be any presumption at all? Either constitutional or unconstitutional? Decide on the facts, and leave it at that.

  10. John says:

    I’m not flying in, or out, of London until the Olympics are over, the missiles have been removed, the air force has gone back to killing non-combatant natives in the middle east and the army has stopped patrolling the Olympic village looking for a Russian gymnast to shag.
    Just sayin’

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