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>> News > United Kingdom
Mass Panic As BBC Blow Up Canary Wharf In Simulated Terrorist Attack - May 18th 2004

The BBC has come under criticism after its Panorama after simulating a terrorist attack on Canary Wharf by flying an airliner into the main Canada Square tower. It seems that many people were confused by the events and believed that it was an actual terrorist attack rather than a fake one intended for broadcast on a special edition of its Panorama TV program.

Canary Wharf Terrorist Attack
The BBC has been criticized for its attack on Canary Wharf

The BBC claims that before taking off the pilot informed the passengers on board the plane not to panic as they were only taking part in a simulated attack and not a real one.

Despite these precautions people still believed the attack to be genuine causing mass panic across London and more seriously caused the BBC to receive over 140 complaints.

Many of the public felt that the BBC should have put up some kind of graphic to explain the attack was not genuine. The BBC explained that they felt that they had provided enough clues to the public the attack was not genuine:

“There were several clues the attack was not being performed by a terrorist organisation,” BBC spokesperson Keith Wilson explained, “For a start, the plane performed a loop the loop before crashing into the tower. Most terrorists don’t have a sense of humour and would not have bothered to entertain the crowd with such a stunt before getting on with business.

“Secondly, we did not devote hours of airtime to the event which we would have done had it been an actual event. ITV didn’t either because we telephoned them when they got wind of the attack and explained that any footage was copyrighted to the BBC and if they broadcast any we would have to sue them.”

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