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Scores of Jews Killed As Nazi Bomb Hits London Building

October 15, 1940
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Scores of Jews were killed last night in one of the worst disasters of the current Blitzkrieg when a bomb struck the middle of a block of apartment houses in one London district.

The bomb cut a building in half. The total casualties there were not immediately known since most of the tenants were sheltered in the basement , which was covered by tons of debris. Demolition and rescue squads were still working, trying to recover the bodies.

The building is a block of workers flats in the shape of a long, narrow rectangle. The high explosive completely demolished the section and reduced the building to a pile of smoldering debris.

Throughout the day, until dusk, army engineers, Pioneer Corps and Air Raid Precautions squads worked feverishly to remove the rubble and break an entrance into the basement, where it was believed the people were trapped, but little hope was held out for the victims because of burst gas mains and water pipes. Occasionally, through out the day, a corpse was recovered from the debris and taken to an improvised morgue for identification.

Shortly after the explosion one seriously injured man staggered out of the smoldering pile and was hospitalized for treatment, but he was the only one to escape so far.

A.R.P. control officials were besieged all day by frantic men and women seeking information about the fate of relatives residing in the building. While the names of the missing were listed today it is believed that not all were victims since many may have gone to shelters.

The scene late this afternoon was one of unbelievable desolation. Khaki-clad sappers and blue – overalled A.R.P. rescue men, aided by huge cranes, struggled with the pyramid of bricks, girders, concrete blocks and shattered furniture, coughing and gasping from the fumes and smoke of the still-smoldering debris, using picks, shovels and bare hands to dig their way through.

Occasionally one brought into field headquarters a sodden, burnt handbag of a woman tenant or some other article of possible value retrieved from the wreckage.

In the distance, beyond the police lines, stood crowds of silent, red-eyed men, women and children, waiting for news of relatives which may take days to come.

Other sections of the edifice was left completely uninhabitable. Evacuation officers were arranging billets for the homeless.

From the sill of one gaping, paneless window of an adjoining section the Union Jack still flew. It was placed there only the other night when high explosives destroyed scores of small houses in the vicinity and shattered windows for a mile around.

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