The sheer numbers tell the story of the Bishopsgate bomb which exploded in the City of London on April 24 1993. The device is calculated to have weighed a tonne; it caused some 500 tonnes of glass in the financial district to break; and the damage, which included the demolition of a medieval church, St Ethelburga’s, has been estimated at around £500 million. A far smaller number in the end is more significant: the bomb cost the life of one man, Ed Henty a News of the World photographer. It also injured 44 more people.
It was later found that the Provisional IRA had planted the bomb, loaded on the back of a tipper truck beneath some asphalt. They chose a Saturday morning to minimise casualties, and gave a warning well in advance of the 10.25am explosion, but this was a cynical move in the negotiations about the future of Ireland then being held. It probably delayed the eventual settlement and hardened attitudes against the IRA; and it led to the City of London adopting ring-of-steel measures to defend against further attacks.
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