IRA bombs parliament: London, 1974

Flames leap from Westminster Hall at the House of Commons in London after an IRA bomb exploded. © Getty Images

Six minutes before the explosion on 17 June, a man with an Irish accent telephones the Press Association, warning that the IRA has planted a bomb inside the Houses of Parliament in London. Police attempt to clear the area, but 11 people are still injured in the blast, which fractures a gas main and sees fire rip through Westminster Hall.
Lord David Steel, then Liberal Chief Whip, escaped unhurt: “I looked through Westminster Hall and the whole hall was filled with dust. A few minutes later it was possible to see flames shooting up through the windows,” he tells reporters. The bomb is followed that year by fatal IRA attacks at the Tower of London, and at pubs in Guildford and Birmingham.

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