On this day in history : 17th June 1974 – An IRA bomb explodes at the Houses of Parliament, injuring eleven people and is suspected of having fractured a gas main….

Henry Kellner – own work

Six minutes before the explosion a phone call to the Press Association, by a man with an Irish accent, gave a code word (which was recognised by the police) and warned that a 20lb bomb had been planted….

There was no time to completely clear the building; just before 8.30am a bomb exploded in the corner of Westminster Hall…. Flames tore through the centuries old hall – and it was thought a gas main had been damaged….

Scotland Yard were fearful that this was to be the beginning of a new IRA bombing campaign – and indeed 1974 proved to be one of the deadliest years for terrorist attacks on the mainland…. In the February a bomb on a coach carrying soldiers on the M62 exploded, killing 12…. A bomb at the Tower of London and the pub bombings in Guildford and Birmingham claimed another 26 lives later in the year….

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