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Last Updated: Friday, 16 June 2006, 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK
7 July report: Survivors' experiences
Walking wounded at Edgware Road
Survivors said they needed reassurance
Poor communication and a lack of basic medical supplies hampered the 7 July bombings rescue operation, a London Assembly report concluded.

Some survivors gave the assembly's cross-party review committee accounts of their experiences in the first hour after the blasts.


Many survivors told the committee of the crucial importance of getting communication from an authority figure of some kind shortly after the explosions.

George was standing about one metre from the Russell Square bomber - he talked of his relief when a voice instructed people to disembark through the driver's cab.

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"Then, somebody said, in a very commanding voice: 'Right the driver has said....'. When he mentioned this word 'driver' my spirits were lifted, because up to that point I thought I was a goner anyway. I thought he had hit another train.

"If we'd hit another train, he is dead, he is finished. We no longer have guards, so we have no guard, no driver, you're stuck down in the tunnel, you have this black smoke pouring in, what do you do.

"When this guy said 'the driver' I thought, 'the driver is alive'."


Kristina said they waited half an hour for communication from anyone in authority.

"We were stuck there; people took charge and tried to keep everyone calm. We had no idea what had happened, being on the last carriage, no idea how we were going to get out, no idea if we could get out or if anyone knew we were there or were going to come and get us.

"We were stuck there...for about half an hour, not knowing if we were going to live or die."


With the delay before emergency services arrived, some passengers spoke of their frustration at the lack of availability of basic first aid kits on trains.

"The driver of the train from Paddington passed through our check to see if anyone was injured. I asked him if he could open the first aid box as we needed to get bandages etc into the second train.

"He told me that he did not have the key; he also said that the box would be empty anyway."

Ben also said there was much confusion above ground - he asked a police officer what he should do and was told to go home.

"I asked him if I needed to leave my name and address and details. I also asked him if we needed to be tested to see if the smoke we had been breathing in may have some sort of chemical poison.

"He told me to go home and watch the news to find out."


Gill was severely and permanently injured. She was resuscitated for 27 minutes and was expected to lose her life, said the report.

"It's important for me to say that however haphazard and makeshift it [the deployment of ambulances, officers, equipment and supplies] was, whatever went wrong that day, went right for me, because I am here and I am here literally by the skin of my teeth so to speak.

"It was the decisions made by a few that changed the course of my life and/or possible death that day."


"If people had known there was no fire, through someone making contact with us, the situation could have been a lot calmer. The most important thing that needs to be recognised is us not having contact with anyone.

"Not long after the bomb went off, we all tried to stay quiet to hear for help, all we could hear were the screams from the other carriages, to our horror we then heard a train, thinking it was coming towards us.

"That was the scariest part of it, apart from thinking I was going to burn alive, not knowing whether anyone was aware of what had happened to us and not knowing if help was on its way."


John was injured in the explosion in his carriage and describes how he and another passenger called Jason tried to help a man called Stan who was trapped in a hole in the floor.

"The metal all around it [the hole] was all jagged and bent from the explosion. Parts of the metal were covered in blood.

"I went to a little ledge to see if I could get close to Stan to give him some water from my bottle, but I could not.

"Stan was calm and conscious and he was looking at me. I repeatedly told him not to worry, that help was on its way and everything would be okay. I went over to check the other bodies on the floor, and found Jason doing just that. He said he could not find a pulse, and that they were all dead.

One of the men was calling Stan's pulse to me, which was fading and finally stopped

"I kept on telling Stan not to worry - he would be okay. I asked that, if he understood me, to blink his eyes twice, which he did.

"I then realised that I was on my own with Stan, David [another injured passenger] and the dead.

"I did not know what to do next. It was a desperate, hopeless situation, so I kept on telling them that help was on its way, and that everything was okay. We were trapped and alone for 15 minutes.

"We were thirsty and in need of help. Looking at Stan, I could see he was dying of his injuries. He never shouted out or cried. He knew he was dying; he remained calm and peaceful.

"I gathered strength from Stan's courage and shouted out for first aid or medics to help me. I heard them smashing into the lower part of the carriage. Then a man appeared at my side asking what he could do.

"I asked him to take some of Stan's bodyweight, because he was slipping down the hole. This he did with the help of another man.

"As they eased Stan on to the track, he closed his eyes for the last time. One of the men was calling Stan's pulse to me, which was fading and finally stopped."

See scenes from the day of the attacks

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