Docklands survivors remember IRA Canary Wharf bombing 25 years on
- Credit: DVA
Survivors have been marking the 25th anniversary of the February IRA bombing of Canary Wharf with a bleak remembrance for the two men killed and 100 other people badly injured.
Wreaths were laid at the spot in South Quay where a lorry packed with Libyan-supplied semtex exploded, wrecking the Midland Bank tower.
The blast shattered a news kiosk where Inam Bashir and John Jefferies were killed.
Many others were badly injured in the bank headquarters and in nearby shops as well as Millwall’s Barkantine Estate which took the full force of the explosion, with 42 people still living with life-changing injuries 25 years on.
The wreath-laying next to South Quay DLR station by members of the Docklands Victims Association was arranged with an online service to comply with Covid regulations.
The organisation set up by Midland Bank security guard Jonathan Ganesh, who led office workers to safety after the bombing despite his own injuries, has been campaigning for two decades for compensation from Libya whose dictator Colonel Gaddafi supplied the IRA with arms and explosives during the Troubles.
“I’m a survivor of the terrorist attack which killed my two close friends,” Jonathan said. “Inam and John were well loved in the community and we’ve never forgotten them.
“Sadly Covid has prevented us from physically being together today. But somehow we still have come together to remember them despite the pandemic.”
He was accompanied by two victims, due to Covid restrictions. The family of Inam Bashir arrived for the Sunday wreath-laying on February 7, two days ahead of Tuesday's anniversary. Well-wishers joined them online.
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Inam's nephew Aazim Ihsan released the first of two doves and recited a remembrance prayer. A second dove was released to mark the association’s members who have also died during the pandemic.
Joyce Brown, now 64, who was a cleaner in the Midland Bank, recalled: "The ceiling came in and there was water pouring, sirens went off and all the blinds were swaying in the wind. There was this constant alarm.”
The Berkeley Group is landscaping a permanent memorial garden to the Docklands victims as part of its South Quay development, the association has confirmed.