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8 Frightening Subway Attacks Since 1994

Updated on October 30, 2012

Subway attacks are scary things. There you are, riding the subway to wherever it is that you are trying to go, when suddenly your whole world can be altered. A bomb explodes (or a fire starts or toxic gas is released) and you never make it out of the subway. Or you make it out with some terrible memories plaguing you and a fear of every riding public transit again. Luckily, of course, subway attacks are not all that common. However, they do happen. Here is a look at 8 frightening subway attacks that have happened around the world in past 16 years.

1.     1994 Azerbaijan Subway Attack. 13 people were killed and another 42 people were injured in this frightening subway attack. The attack happened in Baku, the only city in Azberjian where there is a subway. This area was the site of several other terrorist attacks at that time, some of which affected transportation and others that did not.

2.     1995 Tokyo Subway Attack. It shocked the people of Tokyo when the Aum Shinrikyo cult came together to release 5 attacks of a toxic nerve agent called sarin inside of multiple subway cars. Over one dozen people were killed, another 50 were injured and literally thousands of people suffered temporary vision problems as a direct result of the attack. The cult had been around since the early 1980’s but people didn’t become aware of them until this attack. It is believed that over 1500 people are still members of this cult today although today the cult is named Aleph. They are under surveillance and are protested against but have not done anything like this attack since that time.

3.     1995 Paris Subway Attack. The Armed Islamic Group was responsible for repeated bombings of the subway system in Paris in 1995. The eighth and worst of these attacks was in July of that year when gas bottles filled with nails and explosives were detonated at a local subway station. In total, 8 people died from the Paris subway attacks that year and over 200 more were injured. Some of those injuries were serious including a leg that had to be amputated by emergency workers in the subway tunnel.

4.     2003 South Korea Subway Attack. Imagine the horror of being trapped in a subway station when a fire breaks out and kills nearly 200 people. That horror became reality in 2003 when an arsonist set fire to a subway station in South Korea. In addition to those people who were killed, another 147 people were injured in the attacked. The arsonist, who set the fire by lighting up a milk container he’d filled with flammable liquid, was a man in his mid-50’s who was suffering from depression and other mental health problems.

5.     2004 Moscow Subway Attack. A terrorist group named Gazoton Murdash decided to let the world know of its existence by bombing a subway station in Moscow. A 20-year-old male suicide bomber killed 41 people and injured another 120 people. The terrorist group said that they committed this attack because the day that it happened was the four-year anniversary of when Russian soldiers in Grozny had called dozens of Chechen citizens. The bombing was under the order of a man named Nikolai Kipkeyev who was responsible for numerous bombings that year and in years previous to that. He was killed later that year when a bomb he had ordered went off at the wrong time.

6.     2004 Madrid Subway Attack. Any subway attack would be awful but imagine a series of 10 different explosions across four different subway trains. That’s what happened in 2004 in Madrid. 191 people were murdered and another 1800 people were injured. It is reported that this set of attacks was committed by a group that had been inspired by Al-Qaeda but Al-Qaeda itself was not involved. This was the worst terrorist attack that Spain ever experienced.

7.     2005 London Subway Attack. A series of four different suicide bombing attacks in London is said to be the city’s worst experience of terrorism to date. Three different attacks took place in the subway at the same time and the final attack took place on a bus approximately three hours later. 52 people were killed and over 700 more people were injured in the attacks. This attack was carried out by 5 different men who believed that Britain should not be involved in the war with Iraq and who bombed the subway for that reason. None of the men had arrest records prior to the attack.

8.     2010 Moscow Subway Attack. Sadly, Moscow made the news again recently with their most recent horrible subway attack. Two female suicide bombers located at two different stations in Moscow killed 37+ people and injured over 60 others. This is the worst attack that the Moscow subway station has experienced since the attack of 2004. Additional suicide bombings have followed this initial event and everyone in the area must be frightened of riding the subway there at this time.

The recent attacks in Moscow have made us all hyperaware of the fact that we are not always safe on public transportation. Obviously, the majority of cases of subway bombing attacks have happened in areas that are war-struck. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, as was the case in South Korea in 2003, the situation is simply cause by one person who has lost touch with reality. This doesn’t mean that we should all be afraid every time that we get on the subway but it is something to think about since it can happen anywhere.



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  • reagu profile image

    reagu 7 years ago from Los Angeles

    I had just visited Japan before the 1995 attack as a summer student at Doshisha University. Luckily, I was already here when it happened. But had it occured a couple of weeks earlier, then things could have been very different for me.

  • Eddy2106 profile image

    Eddy2106 7 years ago from Chicago Suburb, IL

    Looks like the attacks are in Europe, thank god there aren't sub attacks in the U.S. since it'll just piss us off even more, i think the terriosts have learned there lesson to not attack the U.S. again. They have already awoken a sleep jiant, and now there paying the price. Great hub, never knew about these subway attacks.

  • vrbmft profile image

    Vernon Bradley 7 years ago from Yucaipa, California

    Wow! I thought you were going to blog about getting pick pocketed or groped! I am interested in terrorism and how we, particularly in our media, respond to it. So I appreciate you summarizing the facts of these attacks. You are very prolific recently and I wish I could read more of your blogs as they come out.

  • artrush73 profile image

    artrush73 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing a great hub, very interesting read. Great hub :)

  • katiem2 profile image

    katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

    I feel for these folks, imagine having to depend on this mode of transportation on a daily basis? Blessing to them! Peace :)