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Published on : Thursday, August 18, 2016
The barrier near Woolwich, stretched across 520 metres across Thames, has got completed in 1982 after spending £500 million. It has ten very high steel gates of 3,300 tonnes, which can be raised to halt the water-flow. The barrier has been constructed to prevent the capital from flooding by tidal surges.
In the first half of August, army’s bomb disposal experts and the police arranged an emergency meeting with the Thames Barrier officials to strengthen the security at the site. Some of the senior members of the marine policing unit of the Metropolitan Police also attended the meeting.
According to the police, the terrorist organisations could try to blow up the Thames Barrier to disrupt the lives of thousands of people. The precise blast site could cause devastation in 125 sq. km of area in the city, causing billions of pounds to drown under water.
One of the counter terrorism officials has stated that damaging the critical infrastructure of UK is a priority for the terrorists. The source has also stated that crippling the barrier would have a long-term effect on the capital and the country.
A bomb disposal expert and counter terrorism veteran, Major Chris Hunter has stated, “Reviewing the security of famous locations such as the Thames Barrier and ensuring that they are protected from attacks is something that’s regularly undertaken by our security services. Any terrorist wishing to destroy the barrier would require a phenomenally high level of technical knowledge, not to mention a shedload of explosives – that’s if they were able to get past the impressive security measures already in place at the site.”
A spokesman for the Environment agency, which maintains the barrier, has informed that they always take security very seriously and there are robust security measures in place at the barrier, which stay under constant review.
Due to security concerns, the authorities have closed down the Thames Barrier for tourists to visit.