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Tonight on BBC London News:
Passengers on the District Line
train describe the fireball that
forced them to run for cover
when Ahmed Hassan's home-made bomb
exploded seriously injuring 30
Suddenly pandemonium broke out on
the platform. I don't think there
was a loud bang, just the flash and
the flame ball.
Also tonight, the nursing students
who face giving up on their courses
after having their loans stopped.
250 tonnes of mostly plastic,
dragged from the Thames every year.
And the problem is getting worse.
80 years aboard this
HMS Belfast prepares
to celebrate a big birthday.
Good evening and welcome
to the programme.
I'm Victoria Hollins.
Ahmed Hassan plotted
to cause carnage on a Tube
train filled with 93 commuters
on their normal morning journey.
He left the bomb on board
the District Line train,
getting off one stop before Parson's
It was there the partial explosion
forced the passengers to run
for cover from a fireball that
rolled through the carriage.
Dozens of them suffered
injuries, many in a stampede
to escape the scene.
Our reporter Marc Ashdown is in west
London for us this evening.
It was just an ordinary Friday
morning last September at about
8:20am when a District line train
pummelled into Parsons Green
station, packed with commuters and
schoolchildren. An improvised device
exploded, sending a Flash fire ball
through the carriage. It was what is
known as a bucket bomb, full of bits
of metal and it was only a miracle
that it fails to detonate properly.
30 people were injured but it could
have been much worse. I spoke to one
Londoner who was on board.
As the train stopped, suddenly
pandemonium broke out on the
platform. I don't think it was a
loud bang, just the flash and the
flame ball, and a crowd of people
charged towards the exit. I had no
idea what was going on.
What did you
We had had a feud terror
attacks, obviously. The London
Bridge attack had not been that far
before this. My first thought was,
is anyone running around with a
machete or a gun, as at London
Bridge? Where should I go? What
should I do? It became clear fairly
quickly that there was no threat of
anything like that.
Yes, for the few minutes
before we knew what was going on,
whilst everyone was panicking,
shouting and screaming. People are
getting crushed on the stairway.
Lots of people were helping each
other, particularly those injured on
the stairs trying to get out of the
platform. People were helping each
other and comforting people. A
neighbour of mine was on the same
train, a scout leader, and his first
reaction was to try to help the
people who had been burned and were
panicking. He got a little group of
people on the platform to look after
them. Soon after the incident,
everyone was determined to carry on
as normal. I have been watching the
trial going on. When you get to
Parsons Green and the announcement
comes up, Parsons Green, you become
very aware of what happened. What if
it had gone off? All those nuts and
bolts and snails and the amount of
explosive material that was there,
the thought that went into packing
all of that metal around it, a lot
of people could have been badly
Has it changed you, or are
you determined to carry on?
let ourselves get terrified by what
might happen, you don't get on with
normal life. You have to carry on
and hope that good triumphs over
Joining me is Councillor
Stephen Cowell on, the Labour leader
of Hammersmith & Fulham Council. I
saw you down here on the day, and it
was about London is being resilient
and supporting each other.
down here in about 15 minutes and
was encouraged to see the police on
full alert, security services
tracking the suppose it terrorist
and people pulling together. There
were ladies handing out cups of tea.
Later, an Italian restaurant owner
handed out pizza. Shops were handing
out water. It was London coming
together and saying, this is not
going to happen to our city.
hit by several terror attacks last
summer. You think people are more
They have to be vigilant.
But we have shown we have the best
security services in the world. We
are tracking many of these people
and the fact that that attack was
not successful is not just down to
the skill of the security services.
It is also down to the background
work that goes on throughout much of
He was a lone wolf
attacker. We have to be vigilant
every moment of everyday.
seen attacks in Brussels, Paris,
Berlin, Boston. What is important is
that society stands strong and faces
down these terrorists and says, we
are not going to let them change our
saw the way we live. That is what
you saw last September, when the
terrorists thought they could change
our lives. They didn't, because we
are better than that.
The message is
that security services are doing all
they can to keep the city safe but
each of us needs to be vigilant.
Lots more to come including:
A new insight into our ancient past,
thanks to preparations
for a tunnel on HS2.
Hundreds of nursing
students have been told
not to expect any more payments
from the Student Loan Company
for the rest of the year,
after the company claims
it overpaid them.
Some students say they might not be
able to continue their studies,
and will be left struggling to pay
bills and rent.
Many had queried their initial
payments earlier in the year
and been told there
wasn't a problem.
Charlotte Franks reports.
They are on the front
line of our hospitals,
caring for the sick and injured.
It's a profession that can be
rewarding and pressured,
and in London the low salary can be
a struggle, with the
high cost of living.
Despite this, students
like Emma have still chosen
to train as a nurse.
I love the interaction and I find it
enjoyable to work with such
a variety of people.
I knew I would get the NHS bursary
and receive payments
from Student Finance England,
so that is what I have
been relying on.
But she and as many as 800 other
nursing students in London will stop
receiving their student loan
following an overpayment error
by the organisation.
There was a moment of panic
where I was not sure if I would be
able to continue the course.
If I can't afford my rent,
I can't stay in London.
It was really scary to even be
thinking that this far
into my degree I might have
to defer, or quit.
Many students say they questioned
the overpayment at the time
but were given assurances
the sums were correct.
The Royal College of Nursing say
they have spoken to the student
loans company who have confirmed
they have known about this
mistake since January.
We are calling for these
overpayments to be written off
with immediate effect.
It is through no fault of their own.
They were told they had
nothing to worry about.
We are asking for the debt
to be written off.
Some students have said
they will have to put the course
Some students have said
they will have to quit the course
if this is not resolved.
This is not the first time
the student loans company has been
the focus of media scrutiny.
In the past, it has had to deal
with failed payments,
bailing students out and claims
the firm was near meltdown.
This body is responsible
billions of pounds of public money.
The fact that the people being hit
by this are a key part of our NHS.
We don't need an incompetent
administration system demanding
they pay back money they should not
have been given in the first place.
The company told us
they are investigating how the error
occurred but they have refused
to write off the payments.
The concern is that at a time
when London is facing
a severe nursing shortage,
there could be hundreds of students
who might not qualify
because they can't afford to.
We asked the Department for
Education for comment but have not
received a response.
Two days ago the
government's so called
Integration Strategy told us
learning English was the key
to people getting on better.
Today, a new plan from the Mayor.
Yes, he says, language is important,
but building better communities
is about much more than that.
Here's Karl Mercer.
At this age, you are not worried
about much more than your next toy,
maybe your next friend,
and maybe just a little bit
about performing for the cameras.
And then the Mayor comes
along with a plan.
Hello, what's your name?
You're the same height as me,
so can I have a photograph with you?
The Mayor chose this mother
and baby club in Camberwell
to launch his so-called
Social Integration Strategy.
He wants more of this sort of thing,
where people of all classes,
races and ages can meet,
where friendships can be formed.
This is the group that
made me feel complete,
because it's a place that I can go
when I need it, and I know
they will help each other.
And I found friends there.
A lot of the children are the same
age, so we are doing similar things,
so it brings us together and it's
a really diverse group.
It's literally opened up the world
of Camberwell mums to us,
that we wouldn't have met otherwise.
But the Mayor's integration strategy
is launched just two days
after central government
launched their own one
with slightly different emphasis.
There is a responsibility on us
to be active citizens.
There is a responsibility on us
to learn the language
so we can talk to each other,
apply for a decent job, but also
to get to know our neighbours.
And one of the things that
worries me is the isolation
and loneliness many Londoners feel,
particularly older Londoners.
We've got to find ways to bridge
the divide between older
and younger Londoners,
between Londoners from different
It's very important for me
that my children feel that they can
have friends from all over.
So it's very, very important in this
society now for our children to be
able to relate to one another,
and to know that those
differences cannot prevent us
from working together
and building better communities.
The Mayor's plan comes
with a lot of good intention
but a relatively small pot of money.
It's a lot to do with encouraging
more stuff like this rather
than actually paying for it.
The long-standing Mayor of Newham
has been defeated in a leadership
battle for the Labour Party
in the east London borough.
Sir Robin Wales had been in the role
for more than 20 years
but faced opposition
from within his own party.
He'll be replaced as Labour's
candidate for elected mayor
by councillor Rokhsana Fiaz.
Every year 250 tonnes of mostly
plastic is pulled out
of the river Thames.
The Port of London Authority says
the issue of plastic bottles
in particular ending up
in the Thames is getting
worse year on year.
And it's now having
an impact on marine life.
Here's our Environment
Correspondent Tom Edwards.
Scooped out of the Thames.
This is the type of rubbish they
regularly pull out of the river.
The majority of the debris is now
disposable plastic bottles.
They still call this
the drift wood service,
they used to mainly pull
floating wood out.
Now the main problem
causing their collectors is plastic.
You can see from the actual
surface of the water,
mainly the plastic bottles
of various type, bits of straw,
plastic cups, and also
bits of plastic bag.
Tania works for the port
of London authority.
She says the amount of plastic
is increasing and it
will have an impact on marine life
in the Thames, the estuary
and the North Sea.
There is a lot of concern around it
being in the sediment
and what animals are feeding on.
We are starting to see
through studies that some
of the crabs and fish are starting
to eat it and it is
filling their stomachs
so they are not able to feed.
We are working with academics along
the Thames as to how that
transfers into the fish,
birds and mammals so we have
more seals and porpoises
using the Thames, how that
might affect then.
might affect them.
Most of the plastic that
finds its away in has
been used only once.
Some is dumped.
Other smaller bits come
through the sewage system.
The experts have measured how
many plastic bottles
are going in to collections
and it is about 15 every hour.
They pull out about 250 tonnes
of waste every year.
And that is just a fraction
what goes into the river.
These tiny white spots
are polystyrene that has
broken down in the river.
This is a snail that more typically
would live in the upper ends
of the tidal Thames so Teddington
way, and that is obviously been
disturbed and brought down this far,
scooped up and caught up
in the debris but also
on the pieces of plastic.
Now the authorities want
people to think much more
about using plastic.
And crucially, how
they get rid of it.
It's difficult to imagine
what the earth would have been
like 56 million years ago.
Dinosaurs were extinct,
the UK was tropical and the land
where London sits was under a sea.
But now, a new discovery made
while preparing to dig tunnels
for the high speed train link HS2
might give us a totally new insight
into how our island used to look.
Caroline Davies reports.
These are some of the creatures that
stalked the earth millions of years
ago, but they weren't only in what
became Africa or America. Some might
have been in Ruislip. Until now,
scientists knew that millions of
years ago a subtropical sea covered
much of the south of England. They
didn't know where it stopped. But a
discovery made 33 metres below my
feet might help give them a clue.
Before digging the tunnels, the team
behind HS2 have been drilling holes
to see what lies beneath. They were
expecting to find gravel but instead
they found a layer of rare mud.
Geologists think this was the edge
of a prehistoric coastline,
surrounded by dense wooded marsh.
They have called it the Ruislip bed.
As a geologist it is very exciting,
because every new piece of
information helps to recreate an
environment that we only have bits
The HS2 team have been gathering
evidence about Britain's Earth along
their route. The North halt tunnel
is due to go through this land. The
team say it will not hold up
construction, but should they be
drilling through it? You are going
to drill a great big hole in this.
Are you not going to damage it?
will only be taking away a small
chunk of material out of quite a
large expanse. It will not
irreparably damage it.
Bees lived in
the subtropical sea that covered
Doctor John Todd
is an expert on this period. He says
studying something about the world
56 million years ago has more
important than we might think.
was a time of rapid climate change,
similar to what is occurring now. If
we can understand the response to
that rapid rise in temperature, we
can predict what will happen on
earth in the future.
that this patch of mud will make
this period a little clearer.
The family of a young boy
from Carshalton say they need
to find £80,000 to fund treatment
before he loses his
Benji Wayne needs cochlear
implants, but the NHS
won't fund it because it says
the three-year-old doesn't qualify.
Paul Murphy Kasp has the story.
Benji runs around like any other
three-year-old but since six weeks
old he has worn hearing aids
because of a genetic
condition called Connexin 26.
He is completely deaf
in his right ear and the hearing
in his left ear is failing.
His doctors decided he needed
cochlear implants to be able to hear
properly but while he still has
limited hearing, the NHS
won't pay for them.
We're so incredibly frustrated.
Some families don't decide
to implant their child
and that's absolutely fine,
but we feel, because of the expert
advice we've got from the brilliant
Implant Centre, that that
would give him the best chance
of acquiring language
which we feel he deserves.
With Benji unable to talk properly,
his family have been
learning sign language
to try to communicate with him.
The NHS told his mother he won't be
eligible for cochlear implants
until he's completely deaf
and now his parents fear that
by the time he gets them,
the ongoing support would end up
costing the taxpayer more.
NHS England say they fund cochlear
implants for patients who need it
most based on government funding
however they said that doctors can
apply for individual funding
for those they feel have strong
cases but that they have
to treat everyone fairly.
And Benji's doctors have
told his mum he fits that criteria.
They sent off a really strong
application which showed
why he deserved it.
We don't understand why there isn't
a priority to have that one-off
spending of this operation in order
to avoid lots of future
spending for Ben.
Now experts want the rules to be
relaxed to allow more people
to reap the benefits.
The guidelines were written nearly
ten years ago and it's very clear
from the research evidence both
from the UK and overseas
that there are children with less
severe hearing losses
who would benefit more
from a cochlear implant than they do
from their hearing aids.
The government is in the process
of reviewing the guidelines around
cochlear implants but Benji's
parents worry any change
will come too late for him.
Paul Murphy Kasp, BBC London News.
It's been a momentous
day for AFC Wimbledon.
The club founded by fans
when the original Wimbledon moved
to Milton Keynes is a step closer
to having its own brand new stadium.
This morning demolition work began
to clear the site that
will eventually become home
to the Dons.
Chris Slegg reports.
Three, two, one...
When you've waited this long...
What's a few more seconds?
Dodgy klaxon sorted,
demolition could begin.
Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium
is being ripped down
to be replaced by this,
an 11,000-seat stadium for AFC
Wimbledon with the potential
to expand to 25,000 seats.
It's a massive day, isn't it?
It turns something from plans
on paper and hopes and dreams
into a piece of physical reality.
AFC Wimbledon currently play
in Kingston but the aim has
always been to return
to their home borough.
Kingsmeadow has been very good
for them and it has been part
and parcel of the club's history
now as such.
But to come to a new stadium,
which is a massive thing,
and their own home,
they will own it, they will be able
to decide everything about it.
It's taken a long time
for anything to happen here.
AFC Wimbledon got planning
permission back in December 2015.
But five months later the then
mayor, Boris Johnson,
called the plans in.
That decision was reversed
when Siddique Khan took up
residence at City Hall,
even though he had opposed
the redevelopment when he was the MP
for Labour in Tooting.
Now there has been opposition
from local residents.
One of the concerns whether the road
network around here can cope
with 11,000 fans coming to this site
every other week.
We are very confident we can appease
those people who have those
worries about transport,
about flooding, about
the need for more schooling
and more GP practices.
All that was addressed in
the tumultuous planning application.
If all goes to plan,
AFC Wimbledon will be
in their new home in time
for the start of the 2019-20 season.
Chris Slegg, BBC London News.
One of the most famous
sights on the Thames
is celebrating her 80th
anniversary this weekend.
HMS Belfast is one of Britain's most
significant surviving World War II
warships and from tomorrow visitors
will be able to take part in special
activities to mark the anniversary.
The bottle is broken by determined
hand and the new Southampton class
cruiser slides down the slipway
to take her place among Britain's
It was launched in
Southampton back in 1938.
Built in the shipyards
of Northern Ireland,
the battleship HMS Belfast soon set
sail for war.
As the young man, Fred Wooding
from Bedford worked below deck.
He sailed to the Far East and was
there as the Korean War began.
So we would send up the ammunition
by hoist from way down
in the bowels of the ship.
You know, and if you hear the guns
go off, you would do if the guns go
off, you just ignored it and carried
on with what you're doing.
You've got a job to do.
During World War II HMS Belfast
escorted the Arctic convoys
to the Soviet Union and fired some
of the first shots
in the D-Day landings.
This weekend the ship
celebrates its 80th anniversary
and veterans such as Fred will be
meeting the public on board.
The focus very much is on the men
who lived and served
here and what it was like for them
when the ship was mined,
when she was on the Arctic convoys
in the worst journey in the world
according to Churchill,
and at D-Day as well so we're really
conscious that some of the stories
she tells are really difficult.
And our veterans have very vivid
memories of those and that's
what we try to engage the public
with, to bring them into contact
with those incredible stories.
Most people have served
here loved the ship.
It's something special to them.
This is very special to me,
a very special ship.
Had hard times on board,
had some good times.
But yes, it was good.
Veterans such as Fred Hope
the history of this special ship
will echo across future generations
and the people who sailed
in it are remembered.
Let's join Ayshea Buksh who's
on board the ship this evening.
Good evening from the main deck of
HMS Belfast. The ship was due to be
scrapped in the 1970s despite that
significant active service but
thankfully it was saved and it is
now owned by the Imperial War Museum
and wannabe curators is here with
me. -- one of the curators. Why was
it so important that the ship was
The Imperial War Museum is
Britain's National music of war and
confidence and the museum wanted to
save a gun turret from the Royal
Navy Chris -- cruiser. It would be a
symbol of the war at sea. During a
visit to Portsmouth to see is
possible ships, the idea was floated
at saving an entire ship and Belfast
was in fantastic condition and a few
years later the museum was able to
open it to the public.
It is one of
account, how do you hope in the
future it will be remembered and
what is it significant for future
generations question it is a
wonderful time capsule in Maritime
and world history.
We think the stories of the group
will continue to be a fascinating
thing as long as Britain remained an
Many thanks. The veterans
will be back on board tomorrow
morning for a weekend of anniversary
Now with that all important weather
forecast here's Phil Avery.
That is a leader is all change? --
fair to say it is all change?
There is a bit of a change, I hope
you have been able to enjoy the
taste of spring in the past the
birthdays. It was in Blackheath and
also at Twickenham on the Thames.
14.6 degrees I have been told today
but look at this. No longer the low
pressure dominating, Saturday and
Sunday it is all the same the
easterly drawing in cold air from
Scandinavia. This is the night, no
cloud, that is just the rain which
eventually becomes snow. Look at the
temperatures, we have been around
its degrees but only up to three
degrees. And look at this, that is
quite a bit of snowfall in the
morning on the first part of the
afternoon. Pretty continuous, up to
four centimetres with more on the
high ground. More showery in the
afternoon, those are the maximum
temperatures. It was 14 degrees
today but three degrees tomorrow.
From mid afternoon onwards there is
an amber warning from the Met Office
for snow and ice in a lot of our
area, through Saturday evening and
into Sunday morning. These are the
snow showers and there are more of
them. A few more centimetres and
late in the afternoon I think it is
all over. It is still bitingly cold
but just a bit of brightness coming
in, the snow showers are probably
moved on and coming into the new
week we will have a slow but sure
improvement in the temperatures but
watch out in the short term.
I'll be back later during the ten
o'clock news, but for now let's
leave you with a lovely view of HMS
its 80th birthday.
From everyone on the team,
have a lovely evening.