London 7/7 bombings . R.I.P We will neve forget!

7th  July 2005 London bombings

Below is a documentary about the 7/7 London bombings.

At the time of the bombing I was living in North London and my offices were based in Russell Square directly opposite the tube station. On a normal working day I would have travelled from Holloway Rd N7 directly via Kings Cross and got of the tube at Russell Square. Thankfully on the day of the Bombs I had an early meeting in Birmingham and had travelled up the day before.

So  perhaps once again the gods were smiling on me. The irony is that I had left Belfast to escape the madness of the Troubles and in truth I probably had more chance of being killed or injured in a terrorist attack in London.

The 7 July 2005 London bombings (often referred to as 7/7) were a series of coordinated suicide bomb attacks in central London, which targeted civilians using the public transport system during the morning rush hour.

On the morning of Thursday, 7 July 2005, four men, all from West Yorkshire, separately detonated three bombs in quick succession aboard London Underground trains across the city and, later, a fourth on a double-decker bus in Tavistock Square. Fifty-two civilians were killed and over 700 more were injured in the attacks, the United Kingdom’s worst terrorist incident since the 1988 Lockerbie bombing as well as the country’s first ever suicide attack.

The explosions were caused by homemade organic peroxide-based devices packed into backpacks. The bombings were followed two weeks later by a series of attempted attacks that failed to cause injury or damage.

The 7 July attacks occurred the day after London had won its bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, which had highlighted the city’s multicultural reputation

London Underground[edit]

At 8:49 am, three bombs were detonated on board London Underground trains within fifty seconds of each other:

  1. The first exploded on a 6-car London Underground C69 and C77 Stock Circle line sub-surface train, number 204, travelling eastbound between Liverpool Street and Aldgate. The train had left King’s Cross St. Pancras about eight minutes earlier. At the time of the explosion, the train’s third car was approximately 100 yards (90 m) along the tunnel from Liverpool Street. The parallel track of the Hammersmith & City line between Liverpool Street and Aldgate East was also damaged in the blast.
  2. The second device exploded in the second car of another 6-car London Underground C69 and C77 Stock Circle line sub-surface train, number 216, which had just left platform 4 at Edgware Road and was travelling westbound toward Paddington. The train had left King’s Cross St. Pancras about eight minutes previously. There were several other trains nearby at the time of the explosion; an eastbound Circle line train (arriving at platform 3 at Edgware Road from Paddington) was passing next to the bombed train and was damaged,[2] as well as a wall that later collapsed. Two other trains were at Edgware Road: an unidentified train on platform 2 and a southbound Hammersmith & City line service that had just arrived at platform 1.
  3. A third bomb was detonated on a 6-car London Underground 1973 Stock Piccadilly line deep-level Underground train, number 311, travelling southbound from King’s Cross St. Pancras and Russell Square. The device exploded approximately one minute after the service departed King’s Cross, by which time it had travelled about 500 yards (450 m). The explosion occurred at the rear of the first car of the train—number 166—causing severe damage to the rear of that car as well as the front of the second one.[3] The surrounding tunnel also sustained damage.

It was originally thought that there had been six, rather than three, explosions on the Underground network. The bus bombing brought the reported total to seven; this was clarified later in the day. The erroneous reporting can be attributed to the fact that the blasts occurred on trains that were between stations, causing wounded passengers to emerge from both stations, giving the impression that there was an incident at each. Police also revised the timings of the tube blasts: initial reports had indicated that they occurred during a period of almost half an hour. This was due to initial confusion at London Underground (LU), where the explosions were originally believed to have been caused by power surges. An early report, made in the minutes after the explosions, involved a person under a train, while another described a derailment (both of which did occur, but only as a result of the explosions). A code amber alert was declared by LU at 09:19, and LU began to cease the network’s operations, ordering trains to continue only to the next station and suspending all services.[4]

The effects of the bombs are understood to have varied due to the differing characteristics of the tunnels in which they occurred:[5]

  • The Circle line is a “cut and cover” sub-surface tunnel, about 7 m (21 ft) deep. As the tunnel contains two parallel tracks, it is relatively wide. The two explosions on the Circle line were probably able to vent their force into the tunnel, reducing their destructive force.
  • The Piccadilly line is a deep-level tunnel, up to 30 m (100 ft) below the surface and with narrow (3.56 m, or 11 ft 8¼ in) single-track tubes and just 15 cm (6 in) clearances. This confined space reflected the blast force, concentrating its effect.
  • Tavistock Square bus
  • Almost one hour after the attacks on the London Underground, a fourth bomb was detonated on the top deck of a number 30 double-decker bus, a Dennis Trident 2 (fleet number 17758, registration LX03 BUF, two years in service at the time) operated by Stagecoach London and travelling its route from Marble Arch to Hackney Wick.Earlier, the bus had passed through the King’s Cross area as it travelled from Hackney Wick to Marble Arch. At its final destination, the bus turned around and started the return route to Hackney Wick. It left Marble Arch at 9 am and arrived at Euston bus station at 9:35 am, where crowds of people had been evacuated from the tube and were boarding buses.

    Locations of the bombings on a Central London tube map

    The explosion at 9:47 am in Tavistock Square ripped off the roof and destroyed the rear portion of the bus. The blast took place near BMA House, the headquarters of the British Medical Association, on Upper Woburn Place. A number of doctors and medical staff in or near that building were able to provide immediate emergency assistance.

    Witnesses reported seeing “half a bus flying through the air”. BBC Radio 5 Live and The Sun later reported that two injured bus passengers said that they saw a man exploding in the bus.[6]

    The location of the bomb inside the bus meant the front of the vehicle remained mostly intact. Most of the passengers at the front of the top deck survived, as did those near the front of the lower deck, including the driver, but those at the rear of the bus suffered more serious injuries. The extent of the damage caused to the victims’ bodies resulted in a lengthy delay in announcing the death toll from the bombing while police determined how many bodies were present and whether the bomber was one of them. Several passers-by were also injured by the explosion and surrounding buildings were damaged by debris.

  • Victims[edit]

    All but one of the 52 victims had been residents in London during the attacks and were from a diverse range of backgrounds. Among those killed were several foreign-born British nationals, foreign exchange students, parents, and one British couple of 14 years. Due to train delays before the attacks, as well as subsequent transport issues caused by them, several victims died aboard trains and buses they would not normally have taken. Their ages ranged from 20 to 60 years old.

    Aldgate:

    • Lee Baisden (34)
    • Benedetta Ciaccia (30)
    • Richard Ellery (21)
    • Richard Gray (41)
    • Anne Moffat (48)
    • Fiona Stevenson (29)
    • Carrie Taylor (24)

    Edgware Road:

    • Michael Stanley Brewster (52)
    • Jonathan Downey (34)
    • David Graham Foulkes (22)
    • Colin William Morley (52)
    • Jennifer Vanda Nicholson (24)
    • Laura Webb (29)

    Russell Square:

    • James Adams (32)
    • Samantha Badham (35)[9]
    • Phillip Beer (22)
    • Anna Brandt (41)
    • Ciaran Cassidy (22)
    • Elizabeth Daplyn (26)
    • Arthur Frederick (60)
    • Emily Jenkins (24)
    • Adrian Johnson (37)
    • Helen Jones (28)
    • Karolina Gluck (29)
    • Gamze Gunoral (24)
    • Lee Harris (30)[9]
    • Ojara Ikeagwu (56)
    • Susan Levy (53)
    • Shelley Mather (25)
    • Michael Matsushita (37)
    • James Mayes (28)
    • Behnaz Mozakka (47)
    • Mihaela Otto (46)
    • Atique Sharifi (24)
    • Ihab Slimane (24)
    • Christian Small (28)
    • Monika Suchocka (23)
    • Mala Trivedi (51)
    • Rachell Chung For Yuen (27)

    Tavistock Square:

    • Anthony Fatayi-Williams (26)
    • Jamie Gordon (30)
    • Giles Hart (55)
    • Marie Hartley (34)
    • Miriam Hyman (31)
    • Shahara Islam (20)
    • Neetu Jain (37)
    • Sam Ly (28)
    • Shayanuja Parathasangary (30)
    • Anat Rosenberg (39)
    • Philip Russell (28)
    • William Wise (54)
    • Gladys Wundowa (50)

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