NEWS: Leopard in disarray as IRA bomb rocks office

Leopard’s offices in Marsh Wall were wrecked by the IRA bomb blast last Friday night, leaving the agency with no choice but to operate out of a pair of suites in a Docklands hotel.

Leopard’s offices in Marsh Wall were wrecked by the IRA bomb blast last

Friday night, leaving the agency with no choice but to operate out of a

pair of suites in a Docklands hotel.



Senior agency staff were not allowed near the wreckage until midday on

Monday, when they were accompanied by police and safety officers who

allowed them to pick up a few vital items from among the debris.



Roy Warman, the joint chief executive of Leopard, said: ‘Our office is

covered in shattered glass and the ceiling and windows are still falling

in.’



Agency staff have been warned that it could be as long as a year before

they can return to their workplace, and in the meantime 15 of the 30

staff are running an emergency operation from two suites in the

Britannia Hotel. A medium-term housing solution is being negotiated with

the insurance company.



Warman described his lucky escape on Friday night, when he left

Leopard’s offices only two minutes before the bomb went off. He had

tried unsuccessfully to call a colleague in the US and, if the phone had

been answered, Warman would have been talking at his desk when the bomb

went off at 7.01pm.



The Franklin Mint building was also destroyed in the blast, but staff

have managed to continue its business following crisis conferences all

weekend, and the rapid setting up of an emergency direct response line.



Bell Cablemedia was also hit, but its delicate equipment was housed

behind reinforced walls, and the company had an alternative emergency

site at Waltham Park, near Redbrige, to which most of its 200 staff were

moved.



The Builder Group, publisher of the Riba Journal and Electrical

Contractor, also suffered significant bomb damage.



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