Officials: U Students unhurt by bombings

Derrick Biney

None of the approximately 30 University students studying abroad in London were hurt in several bombings on the city’s transportation system Thursday, University officials said.

Four explosions rocked the London subway and tore open a packed double-decker bus during the morning rush hour, sending victims fleeing in the worst attack on London since World War II. As of 3 p.m. Thursday, at least 40 people were killed and more than 700 were wounded, U.S. officials said.

Alli Pettersen, a University continuing education senior, is living in London and has an internship with Sony BMG Music Entertainment. About 10 minutes before Pettersen would have arrived at the Liverpool Street subway station to go to work, one of the bombs went off, she said.

Petterson said she was running late this morning would’ve been at the station at the time of the bombing had she been on time.

“I have been traveling to work on the train system, spending about an hour both ways on the tube,” she said. “The fact that I was supposed to be there at the time this happened really gets my nerves going.”

Petterson said the underground train system is vital for people getting to and from their destinations. Authorities temporarily shut down the subway system following the bombings.

“People are stranded without a way to get home and the buses are not as efficient as the train,” she said. “So many people are walking the streets to get home.”

Although Pettersen admits to being nervous about the incident and riding the train again, she said she is going to try to act like nothing happened.

“The incident is similar to 9/11; you don’t stop living your daily life because of it,” she said.

Pettersen said the bombing took away the excitement of the city winning the 2012 Summer Olympics on Wednesday. Although the mood of the city has changed she said she feels the residents will overcome the situation.

“I’m sure after this nobody can ruin their parade,” she said.

Prime Minister Tony Blair called the coordinated attacks “barbaric” and said they were designed to coincide with the G-8 summit opening in Gleneagles, Scotland. A group calling itself the Secret Organization of al-Qaida in Europe claimed responsibility on its Web site, though authorities had not verified its accuracy.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said the explosions have the “hallmarks of an al-Qaida related attack. He added that neither Britain’s police nor the intelligence services had any warning of the attacks.

The four blasts went off within an hour, beginning at 8:51 a.m. (2:51 a.m. CDT), and hit three subway stations and the double-decker bus. Authorities immediately shut down the subway and bus lines that log 8.4 million passenger trips every weekday.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.