Wednesday, 15 June 2011
15 years since the IRA bomb
This photo is taken where Corporation Street runs into Cross St today. This is where, on 15 June 1996, the Provisional IRA (Irish Republican Army) set off the biggest peacetime bomb ever detonated on mainland Britain.
It was a busy Saturday morning with an estimated 80,000 people in the city centre- shopping, socialising, working and playing. There was an advance warning and miraculously no-one was killed, although 200 people were injured.
The domes of ancient and cherished buildings were blown into the air at the blast, many other buildings were severely damaged, many businessess were forced to close down for good, and it took years to repair all the damage. For half a mile in all directions the windows were blasted out of shops, flats and offices, including every window you can see in this photo.
I remember wandering amidst the debris on the following Monday morning, with the city centre echoing to the sound of alarm bells still ringing, and the sound of glass being swept up off the pavements and roads.
Respectful video coverage, made in 2008 by students Sam Mackay and Eleonara Ferrazzi, "After the 1996 IRA bomb" at: http://www.youtube.com/user/SixShot84
Footage from GM Police in 1996, only released in 2011 at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncypcYxFuGs&feature=player_embedded