LONDON (AP) - A bomb exploded at Victoria station during morning rush hour Monday, 45 minutes after a caller claiming to represent the IRA warned of bombs at all of London's main railway stations, police said. One man was killed and 40 people were injured.
The Irish Republican Army claimed responsibility, but blamed the carnage on authorities who decided not to close stations.
"All future warnings should be acted upon," said a statement from the IRA.
The explosion at Victoria station came less than three hours after a bomb exploded at Paddington station, another the main rail gateway to western England and Wales. Only a dozen employees were on duty, and no one was injured.
The Victoria explosion at 7:46 a.m. sent screaming commuters running from the terminal, some trailing blood across the concourse. Rail traffic to and from London was halted for hours.
"The cynical decision of senior security personnel not to evacuate railway stations named in secondary warnings, even three hours after the warning device had exploded at Paddington in the early hours of this morning was directly responsible for the casualties at Victoria," the IRA statement said.
The incidents were the first attacks on a British rail station credited by the IRA in 15 years.
The warning was delivered by a man with an Irish accent who said: "We are the Irish Republican Army. Bombs to go off at all mainline stations in 45 minutes," said Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist chief, Cmdr. George Churchill-Coleman.
Churchill-Coleman said the call was only one of a number of threats following the Paddington explosion, and that the others "transpired either to be false or malicious."
Iain McGregor, deputy chief constable of the British Transport Police, said his department gets about six bomb threats a day.
Churchill-Coleman said the warning was passed to the British Transport Police, who already were searching all the main railway terminals when the blast at Victoria occurred.
The bomb, which was hidden in a trash can on the concourse, "was quite deliberately intended to maim and kill," he said.
British Rail Chairman Robert Reid said it is not unusual for police to keep rail stations open after a bomb warning.
"Let's face it, as soon as you have an incident, your telephone lines are choked with hoax calls. Since these two incidents we've had hoax calls all the way up the line," Reid said in an interview on British Broadcasting Corp. radio.