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Terrorist bombing: Families flock to help centre.

FAMILY and friends of nearly 40 missing people have made anguished visits to a special support centre set up in the wake of the London terror attacks.

Police have also sent specially-trained liaison officers to the homes of around 60 families.

As part of the support operation for families, samples of fingerprints and DNA - from toothbrushes and hair brushes - will be taken to help in the identification process.

Relatives may, ultimately, also have to identify personal items like jewellery. The 24-hour family assistance centre at the Queen Mother leisure centre in Victoria, central London, is being manned by 100 police officers and staff, supported by workers from the British Red Cross, Salvation Army, Victim Support and several local authorities.

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, who spent two hours visiting there yesterday, said: 'It is a very important and excellent source of information-gathering and advice for families.

'If families are wondering where they should come, this is the place.'

The centre opened at 2pm on Saturday, more than 48 hours after the bombings, but Commander Steve Allen, of the Metropolitan Police, rejected suggestions that the response had been too slow.

He said it was a 'very complex set of events' and there had been 'a large amount of activity' going on between the attacks and the establishing of the centre.

A tight security cordon was thrown up around the centre to ensure the privacy of relatives of those missing
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 11, 2005
Words:237
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