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Man Dies in Car Fire Near Thatcher's London Home; No Explosives Found

February 16, 1988|Associated Press

LONDON — A man died early today when the car he had been driving burst into flames a few yards from Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's official London residence and office at 10 Downing St., police reported.

Police bomb squad officers raced to the scene, fearing a possible terrorist attack, but a Scotland Yard statement said: "There was no trace of an explosive device."

Thatcher's office said that the prime minister was at 10 Downing St. at the time of the incident but had not been in any way affected.

The cause of the fire at the entrance to Downing Street from Whitehall, the main thoroughfare in the area, was not immediately known, according to Scotland Yard.

The incident occurred shortly after 1 a.m. and was witnessed by a police officer on duty at the metal security barriers that separate Downing Street from Whitehall.

The car had been traveling down Whitehall from the direction of Parliament, the statement said.

Whitehall was sealed off as police investigated the wreckage.

No details about the dead man were immediately known. A fire brigade spokesman said the body had been badly burned.

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