The events of yesterday unfolded before me as I watched the stream of ambulances and police vehilces from my vantage point near Tower Bridge.
First, we heard of a ‘power surge’ on the underground. We made sure all our buildings were not affected. Then someone said that London Underground makes its’ own power: its’ not on the national grid so it wouldn’t have affected us. Then a rumour went round about an explosion. Then another. Then one on a bus. By now we knew it was no power surge. We had a terrorist attack.
Our first crisis call was probably like most other firms in London: we were struggling to get good information as to what was happening. We seem to have good contacts though and – for all the wrong reasons – London is quite good at these sort of incidents. Practice has made, if not perfect, certainly quite efficient. During the day we ensured our staff were safe. We made arrangements to ensure business could continue and then that people could leave London safely.
By the end of the day we all knew what had happened and people made their way either home, or to the pub, or off to stay with friends to avoid the convoluted commute as services were reduced across the network.
But for hundreds there was no home but a hospital bed. For 37 others they did not have such luxury.
Today, as I sit in the BA Terraces lounge on my way to Hong Kong, that 37 is now over 50 and once again I just can’t understand why and what was acheived. I suppose a normal rational mind just can’t get its’ head around what would make some people do such a terrible thing to others.
But I suppose that’s terror: we really are dealing with the unknown.