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20 March  
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1993: Child killed in Warrington bomb attack
A young boy has died and at least 50 people have been injured in two bomb blasts close to the heart of a busy shopping centre.

Emergency services said the dead boy is believed to be four-years-old.

Another older boy suffered grave injuries when two bombs, hidden in dustbins, exploded in Warrington, Cheshire.

Twelve of the injured have been hurt "very seriously" as eyewitnesses said the first explosion drove panicking shoppers into the path of the next blast just seconds later.

'Huge hand grenades'

The explosions shattered the Golden Square shopping mall in Bridge Street just after 1212 GMT.

The mall was packed with shoppers brought out by the warm spring weather ahead of Mother's Day tomorrow.

The bombs went off in Bridge Street, the first is understood to have been outside a British Gas showroom and the second went off near Argos, the catalogue store.

Police said the bombs had been planted in separate cast-iron litter bins which had the effect of turning them into huge hand grenades.

Eyewitnesses have reported many casualties, some are understood to have lost limbs.

Buses are being organised to ferry people away from the scene and 20 paramedics, some on motorcycles, have been sent to administer on the spot treatment.

Crews from 17 ambulances are dealing with casualties and it is understood a team of four plastic surgeons are travelling to Warrington General Hospital from the regional burns unit at Whiston hospital, Knowsley, six miles away.

Police said a coded warning was made to the Samaritans at 1158 about a bomb outside a Boots chemist shop in Liverpool but the bombs went off near Boots in Warrington, 16 miles to the east.

There was no time to evacuate the area after Merseyside police informed the Cheshire force of the warning.

No organisation has admitted carrying out the attack but the IRA has not been ruled out.

Bombers struck in Warrington only last month, when a gasworks was blown up, but with no injuries.

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Watch/Listen
The bomb scene
There are thought to be many injured

Report from a devastated Warrington



In Context
Johnathan Ball, three, died in the blasts when he was in town with his babysitter buying a Mother's Day Card.

Tim Parry, 12, was caught in the full force of the blast and died five days later in hospital.

The atrocity also left 56 people injured in the blasts which the IRA admitted carrying out.

Tim's parents Colin and Wendy Parry campaigned to build a peace centre and they helped set up a peace initiative within months of the explosion.

On the seventh anniversary of the atrocity the Tim Parry-Johnathan Ball Young People's Centre was opened.

It is run by the NSPCC and the Tim Parry-Johnathan Ball Trust and includes residential accommodation for visiting groups from Ireland and around the world, an IT suite, cafe areas and sports facilities.

It also houses the NSPCC's regional headquarters with a helpline and drop-in centre.

Stories From 20 Mar


 
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