1996 Docklands bombing


1996 Docklands bombing
Docklands bombing
Part of The Troubles
Location South Quay station, Isle of Dogs, London
Date 9 February 1996
19:01 (GMT)
Target Canary Wharf financial district
Attack type Truck bomb
Death(s) 2
Injured 39
Perpetrator Provisional IRA

The Docklands bombing (also known as the Canary Wharf bombing or South Quay bombing) occurred on 9 February 1996. It was conducted by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) and brought an end to their seventeen-month ceasefire. The bomb detonated in a financial district, killing two people and causing an estimated £85 million worth of damage.

At about 19:01 on 9 February, the IRA detonated a half-tonne bomb containing an ammonium nitrate fertiliser and fuel-oil mixture,[1] in a small lorry about 80 yards from South Quay Station on the Docklands Light Railway (in the Canary Wharf area of London), directly under the point where the tracks cross Marsh Wall. Due to a telephoned warning, nearby buildings and the road were evacuated. However, two men working in the newsagents shop directly opposite the explosion, Inan Bashir and John Jeffries, had not been evacuated in time and were killed. 39 people required hospital treatment due to blast injuries and falling glass. It destroyed part of the South Quay Plaza.[2]

Approximately £85 million worth of damage was done by the blast. Three nearby buildings (the Midland Bank building, South Quay Plaza I and II) were severely damaged (the latter two requiring complete rebuilding whilst the former was beyond economic repair and was demolished). The station itself was extensively damaged, but both it and the bridge under which the bomb was exploded were reopened within weeks (on 22 April), the latter requiring only cosmetic repairs despite its proximity to the blast.

This bomb represented the end to the IRA ceasefire during the Northern Ireland peace process at the time. James McArdle was convicted of conspiracy to cause explosions, and sentenced to 25 years in prison, but murder charges were dropped due to concerns about press coverage. McArdle was released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement in June 2000.

The IRA described the injuries as a result of the bomb as "regrettable", but said that they could have been avoided if police had responded promptly to "clear and specific warnings". Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Sir Paul Condon said: "It would be unfair to describe this as a failure of security. It was a failure of humanity."[3]

See also

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Coordinates: 51°30′1.27″N 0°1′4.76″W / 51.5003528°N 0.0179889°W / 51.5003528; -0.0179889


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