"There's a lot of very strong feeling of absolute shock.There's a lot of fear - a lot of people are expecting to hear names of people they know," he said.By the time police recovered his body 20 miles away in the idyllic beauty spot of Boot in Eskdale, the death toll had reached at least a dozen.His victims included several pensioners out shopping, most of them shot in the face or head at point-blank range either with a shotgun or a high-powered telescopic rifle. Three of them were in a critical condition last night while five others were described as being in a serious condition.
Divorced father-of-two Derrick Bird, 52, shot several colleagues in Whitehaven in Cumbria, then drove his cab through the countryside of the Lake District blasting other victims apparently at random. The streets were filling up with families enjoying half-term, and Whitehaven was bright with the promise of summer. Within a few hours, 12 people lay dead, and this quiet Georgian port had joined the ranks of Dunblane, Hungerford and Omagh as geographic shorthand for mass murder.In the three-and-a-half hours from 10.35am, local taxi driver Derrick Bird, 52, was to unleash one of the most ferocious and perplexing killing sprees in modern domestic criminal history.Nuclear firefighters: Workers in protective clothing tackle the blaze at Windscale (later known as Sellafield) in Cumbria in 1957.As frantic attempts are under way to make safe the nuclear power station hit by the tsunami in Japan, it is not surprising that questions are being asked about the safety of Britain's 19 nuclear reactors ‘There are no warning signs anywhere along the coast.