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London Station Becomes Impromptu Memorial


The deadliest of Thursday's bombings occurred along the Piccadilly subway line between the Russell Square and King's Cross stations. Because the train was so far underground when the bomb went off, emergency workers have had some trouble removing all the bodies. NPR's Jim Zarroli found the King's Cross station has now become a kind of impromptu memorial site.

JIM ZARROLI reporting:

King's Cross sits at a bustling intersection in a noisy part of central London. Since Thursday, people have come here searching for lost friends and relatives. This morning, David Webb showed up carrying a picture of his 29-year-old sister Laura, last seen heading to her office in Paddington on Thursday morning.

Mr. DAVID WEBB: She failed to go into work that day and I e-mailed her office when I found out that the attacks had started. One of her colleagues e-mailed me back telling me that she hadn't actually turned up.

ZARROLI: Webb came to the station to do a TV interview, hoping his appearance might generate some leads. Reporters from all over the world are camped out here, and Webb and his brother were mobbed as they made their way through the TV cameras and microphones.

Unidentified Man: Out of the way! TV! Out of the way!

Mr. WEBB: This is good enough.

Unidentified Man: Out of the way! Come on!

ZARROLI: It was the same way for Carla Nurse(ph), who came to pass out fliers bearing a picture of her friend, 28-year-old Christian Small. Nurse said about 20 of Small's friends were out on the streets of London trying to get information.

Ms. CARLA NURSE: Well, we've been to all the hospitals. We've given out leaflets. We've got loads of people at different stations throughout London today.

ZARROLI: Are you having any luck about anything?

Ms. NURSE: We're not having much luck. Essentially, we're trying to find his car, which would tell--indicate if he had taken the train.

ZARROLI: To each reporter she spoke with, Nurse repeated the license plate number of Small's car: P605RWY. For all her efforts, Nurse seemed to understand that the odds were against her friend being found alive two and a half days after he disappeared. Still, she said, she couldn't stop hoping for a miracle.

Ms. NURSE: Hoping he just decided to take the day off and went--go to Somerset or something and he's going to mosey over a couple of days after. That's what we're hoping, but it's not always the case 'cause we know he's very routine and he went to work. He was on his way to work.

ZARROLI: As time has dragged on, bouquets of flowers and notes from well-wishers have been piled along the locked doors at King's Cross behind yellow police lines, and throughout the day, people come to stare. Carly Cadinack(ph) showed up around lunchtime today. A stocky woman with spiky hair and a pierced tongue, Cadinack works as a driver for the subway system. The line she drives regularly was spared in Thursday's attacks, but the bombings have clearly left her distraught. In the end, she figures there's no way to prevent incidents like these.

Ms. CARLY CADINACK: You never think it's going to happen to you until it does, and I'm just very proud to be a Londoner at the moment. I think that the city has pulled together brilliantly and that's ...(unintelligible) these times.

ZARROLI: A few minutes later, Maureen Evans(ph) worked her way through the crowd to drop off some flowers. She'd come to see the site and pay her respects. She's always taken the Tube, she said, until now.

Ms. MAUREEN EVANS: I don't think I'll do that anymore now. I think I'd walk at the moment. I really would because it's frightening. It's really, really frightening. It's bad news.

ZARROLI: Evans described herself as a housewife not too interested in politics, and she turned aside questions about who might have planted the bombs. But as she walked away from the station past a police barricade, she stopped and looked back. `I only hope,' she said, `that the police catch their man.' Jim Zarroli, NPR News, London.

LUDDEN: You can find more on the London bombings at our Web site, npr.org.

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Jim Zarroli is an NPR correspondent based in New York. He covers economics and business news.