22.3.05

Living in fear - Bomb scare, and a really, really horrible day

Every had one of those days where you wish you didn't bother to get out of bed? today was just one of those days.

Started off with a delay on the central line, which meant I got to Bank station 5-10 minutes late. I rushed as quickly as my legs could carry me, only to see the police had cordoned off Fenchurch Street !! People were coming out, but no one was going in. I asked the policeman what was going on, and he said 'There's a suspect car somewhere in the area. If you work on Fenchurch street, your office will most likely have been evacuated.' One phone call to the office proved there were people in the building. I walked around the area, looking for a way in, but there were police barricades everywhere. then I saw one of the security guards from my building, who told me about a route into the area, while the police line was there, there was no cop in the area. Boso is a very very foolish boy. I crossed the police line, and found myself in Leadenhall market.

Maybe I should have turned back when I saw the police evacuating all the shops just behind our building. That would have been a wise thing to do. But I walked right past them, and went into our building via the back door. On the way, I saw two chaps who were wondering what was going on. "Suspect car" I said. "Then why the hell are we still going to work" one of them said. But we walked on......proclaiming our loyalties to our companies...how stupid we were.........

The office was about 3/4 full, and everyone was wondering what the hell was going on. We were looking out of the windows, and watching as people were kept off the main street, and everyone was staying behind the police lines. Then suddenly, the policeman asked us all to get into the buildings and 'stay as far away as possible from the windows'. We were safer in the buildings they said. By now, I was wondering why I didn't stay put behind the police lines.

The message finally filtered through, they were going to approach the two vehicles, and see whether they were bombs. We all found 'safe' places to wait inside the office. The Internet was down as well, but that was not a priority right now!! when I looked outside the window of the server room, I had a terrible shock. There was a car right behind our building, that the police were taking apart. They had taken out several empty suitcases from the boot, and had opened up the car, and popped open the engine. I was frozen with fear. Not because the 'suspect car' was right next to our building. But I HAD WALKED RIGHT PAST THAT CAR ON MY WAY IN.

After a few minutes, we were told to go to the basement, and on our way there, we found out that it was all over, Fenchurch Street had been reopened, and it was business as usual. People on the street, cars buzzing past, I have never been happier to see crowds in my life !!!

So, after all the intial excitement, I couldn't blog about it....because the Internet was down. The exchange was down, and wasn't fixed till 3pm......all this, and one printer, one PC and one laptop all decided that today was the best day to die. Fortunately, my boss  has cancelled tonight's work, so all I want to do is go home and lie down......

Last weekend, I was chatting with my brother about how working in Central London means you have to be prepared for a terrorist attack at any time. I was at a disaster recovery fair last week, and everyone was speaking like an attack was 'just around the corner'. This weekend's news that the IRA was planning to strike and then today, I feel really scared now.

I heard something on the night that I went to the Comedy Store. 9/11 and other terrorist attacks aren't really terrorism, they are acts of terrorism. The real terrorism is when everyone is scared, because they don't know when or where the next act of terrorism will happen.

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