U.K. - London - Explosion at apt complex, gas leak suspected

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Five Injured in London Explosion

6:38 p.m. ET (2338 GMT) February 15, 2000

LONDON  Five people were injured, one seriously, when an explosion believed caused by a gas leak ripped through a London apartment complex Tuesday, officials said.

Initial reports said 20 people were missing but later lowered the toll at the scene in the north London district of Holloway.

"There were five people injured. Four are not believed serious. One is believed to be serious, but not life threatening," a police spokeswoman said.

Local resident Catherine Brodie said: "We heard a loud bang and I thought it was a bomb but they are saying now it was a gas explosion."

Officials said there was no indication of any outside involvement.

British authorities have been nervous for months about the possibility of hardline guerrilla groups opposed to the Northern Ireland peace process launching bomb attacks on Britain's mainland. Earlier Tuesday, IRA guerrillas pulled out of disarmament talks but gave no suggestion they would abandon their cease-fire.


-- Lee Maloney (leemaloney@hotmail.com), March 16, 2000

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