London bombing death toll rises

RESCUE workers today continued to work in difficult conditions in a London Underground tunnel in search of remains and evidence from last week's terror bombings, as the official death toll rose to 52.

The workers were facing temperatures of up to 60 degrees (140 degrees Fahrenheit) in the tunnel between King's Cross and Russell Square and they have not ruled out finding further remains.

The confirmed death toll following Thursday’s four explosions rose to 52, police said. Sources said the final death toll could be slightly higher than 52 but was not expected to be significantly higher than that. Another 56 people remain in London hospitals.

Meantime, the Polish Foreign Ministry said it believed 17 Poles were unaccounted for in London as a result of the attacks.

Only two victims have so far been formally identified. They were Susan Levy, a 53-year-old mother of two sons from Hertfordshire, who died in the Russell Square train, and Gladys Wundowa, 51, a cleaner who was killed in the bus bomb at Tavistock Square.

A return to near-normal public transport services was being hampered by passengers leaving bags unattended. There have been more than 50 security alerts since Friday morning on the Tube, Transport for London said. These alerts have led to delays and cancellations and of Tube and bus services.

Prime Minister Tony Blair, in an address to the House of Commons this afternoon, condemned the bombings.

"We express our revulsion at this murderous carnage of the innocent (and) ... we send our deep and abiding sympathy and prayers to the victims and their families," he said.

"It seems probable that the attack was carried out by Islamist extremist terrorists of the kind who over recent years have been responsible for so many innocent deaths, in Madrid, Bali, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Kenya, Tanzania, Pakistan, Yemen, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, of course in New York on September 11, but in many other countries too."

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