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Friday, 3 August, 2001, 12:27 GMT 13:27 UK
Survivor's tales of terror
Richard Seaman
Richard Seaman has decided to leave London because of the blast
A survivor of the Ealing car bomb has told how he was yards away from death.

Richard Seaman, 24, said he and his girlfriend were allowed through police cordons seconds before the 40kg device went off.

Mr Seaman said he planned to leave London and return to his family home in Derbyshire after suffering the "closest experience to death [he] will ever have".


Not being able to walk safely in the street is quite a deterrent

Richard Seaman
Survivor
He said: "There was a huge flash of light, it was very hot.

"I was walking with my girlfriend, she banged into me and we went on to the floor.

"We were covered in debris and that carried on for 10 or 15 seconds."

Mr Seaman's girlfriend, Andrea Carragher, 23, also remains in Ealing Hospital for treatment.

Police 'confusion'

Mr Seaman, who lives above the Ealing pub in which he works, said there was confusion among police officers immediately before the blast.

"Two police officers did not say anything to us and just let us go past," he said

Mr Seaman said that as he and his girlfriend walked away after the blast they saw the same officers.


I don't think I will ever come closer to death

Richard Seaman
"I said to a police officer 'You knew this was going to happen, why did you not tell us?'. He said 'We could not cordon off the whole town'."

He added: "I don't think I will ever come closer to death.

"It is only now that I realise a bomb went off and I was only 12 feet away from it, it was the closest thing to death that I have ever faced."

Deterrent effect

The threat of further attacks was forcing him to leave London, Mr Seaman said.

"I'm an assistant manager in a pub and it is not worth the risk of living down here.

"London is the capital - it gets hit. Not being able to walk safely in the street is quite a deterrent."


There was glass flying around and coming over my head

Worayot Anuvatnujotikul
Ealing car bomb survivor Worayot Anuvatnujotikul described how glass rained down on his head after the midnight blast brought terror to the streets of west London.

Mr Anuvatnujotikul, 24, was released from Ealing Hospital after suffering a slight head injury in the explosion.

He said there was a huge bang as he was walking from Ealing Broadway, along the Uxbridge Road towards his home.

"It was a huge blast," said Mr Anuvatnujotikul, an IT consultant. "At first I thought it was someone playing with fireworks.

Ran away

"But suddenly there was glass flying around and coming over my head.

"I ran across the street and the police told us to run away as fast as possible from the area."

Only after the explosion did Mr Anuvatnujotikul notice there were many police cars parked in the area, he added.

"I thought that the police should have blocked us away more quickly if they had known about it."


The location of the blast
He said the police and ambulance teams had dealt well with the aftermath of the blast.

"There was a loud bang and I could feel sound waves coming back at me," he said. "The women there were quite shocked so they were quite emotional.

"I wouldn't have thought this would have happened in Ealing. I would have thought this would have happened in central London."

Saiwin Kyauk, 19, from nearby Acton, was standing at a bus stop when the car exploded.

"I got an injury in my leg," he said. "I didn't notice that my leg was hurt until I tried to run away."

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