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Last Updated: Friday, 15 July 2005, 10:38 GMT 11:38 UK
Coming together as a city
London bombings survivor Rachel North
Rachel North, from London, was in the bombed carriage of the Tube train travelling from King's Cross to Russell Square on the Piccadilly Line.

Since the 7 July attacks, she has been making daily postings to the BBC News website about her experiences.


So, the diary ends as it begins, crowded shoulder to shoulder next to other Londoners.

I am at the vigil in Trafalgar Square. This time, sun beats down and we stand in the open air, listening to speeches and poems from the Mayor, clerics and religious leaders, union representatives, TV personalities and news-casters, and most movingly, the train driver of Edgware Road.

We are told how we are united, how we are unbeatable, how we will rise. We are urged to be strong, to show tolerance, and to love and respect each other. Tears fall.

The diary began in a crowded carriage, crammed with people, with an act of murderous barbarity.

With a bang, smoke, shock and fear.

Yet almost immediately, even in the choking darkness, in the almost-animal panic, we remembered our humanity, that we were human beings. We stood up, we comforted each other, we held hands, and if we could, we led and carried each other to safety.

The selfish need to claw and fight for survival, to stampede, to free ourselves at all cost did not win; instead, the learned behaviour of city dwellers, who must live in close proximity with strangers took over.

And that has been the message of the week. We are a civilised society; we live closely and socially in crowded cities. We do not always agree, often we do not talk to each other or look at each other in the face.

Londoners are often accused of haughtiness and coolness. But this week we felt what it is like to come together as a city.

Now we need to remember what this sense of unity feels like; we will need to remember it in the difficult weeks and months ahead.

We are a civilised people, we will not fall victim to paranoid anger and selfish nihilistic hate.

My thanks to all who have helped me, listened, sent messages of support, followed my story. I am not a writer, but this week my writing what has happened to me has made a difference.

To my family, John and my friends, to my fellow passengers, to my neighbours and fellow citizens in London: I am so glad to be here and I wish us all calmness and hope as we continue with our daily lives.

Crowded together, shoulder to shoulder. I wouldn't have it any other way.


Last night I managed to speak to my parents. They had been teaching a painting course in Norfolk, and whilst we had been texting regularly, we had not been able to talk to each other.

They talked of their shock and sadness. It had been very difficult when they had to look after course students all day and evening, giving them little time to deal with the news of their eldest child being on the bombed train.

Later on, another man who had been on my carriage and found out about me from this diary managed to get in contact and we talked for a long time and agreed to meet for the silence tomorrow with some of the other victims.

My friend and neighbour Jane came round and cooked us sausages and we all sat in the garden feeling shattered. After she had gone I began to cry, properly, for the first time. I couldn't stop sobbing and shaking. John held me.

I wept for the poor people who had been standing behind me who had died and been injured. A hundred feet down in a narrow, dirty, smoke-choked dark tunnel, I had to leave them there, screaming and crying, dead or dying and I could not help them.

I wept with despairing anger at the men who had done this, how could they hate so much? How could they think this was glorious, or just?

I wept because I had been so afraid, and because I had survived, and I had walked away from the train and my fellow passengers had not.

Tears are in my eyes again now. It's almost more than I can bear.

I must get ready to go to Trafalgar Square to observe the silence with the other people from my train.

After we will go to King's Cross to lay flowers, then to a pub where I will meet some friends. And at 6pm we will go to Trafalgar Square again for the Vigil.

And I hope I and other Londoners will find some peace and resolution there, standing together.


John and I were quiet, thinking of how I had got on the train with all the other people. We tuned to BBC Radio 4 at 8.50am, the time of the explosions.

We listened to people's witness of how they had been on the train, rescued people from the tracks, searched for the missing and how they had not been found. We were both in tears.


So, the bombers were young British men, and they killed themselves along with their fellow passengers. I'm sad, but not surprised.

They killed Londoners and people from all over the world, including Muslims.

It is terrible to think about why they chose to do such a thing. I cannot imagine what it must be like to hate so much that you are willing to blow yourself and other people to pieces to prove it.

I studied Theology at University, and I know that the Bible, the Torah, the Koran all contain passages that can be interpreted to back up all kinds of personal and political agendas.

But I also know that all the major world faiths teach of the sanctity and value of life, of how love is more important than hate. I have had many messages of support from friends and strangers, of all faiths and backgrounds. And everyone has said the same thing: how sad they are, what a despicable criminal act the bombers performed, and how futile it was.

Bombing, hate, murder and evil happen all over the world. Here in Britain we are not immune from it. This is unutterably sad, but like everywhere else, we will pick ourselves up and go on. I don't want to meet hate with hate.

Hate feeds hate. I've had enough of it. I'm scared, but not that scared.


I talked to a counselling service on the phone (work gave me the number) and then to my boss and we all agreed that taking a bit of time off would be a good idea.

I'm feeling very, very tired indeed and I'm still not sleeping very well. I am starting to cry at odd times. I will go back to work on Monday after I have had my stitches taken out.

It was good to have faced the Tube journey and to have got that over with, but doing so did make me remember the events of Thursday morning all over again and has made me realise how frightened, shocked and deep-down tired I still am.

I need to rest, rushing about trying to get better using sheer willpower isn't going to make my body heal any faster and it isn't going to make my mind heal any faster either.

So I am going to spend the day in the garden with my tomato plants and pots of flowers and the cat, being quiet.

Tomorrow I am going to Trafalgar Square for the two minute silence and I am going to meet up with Mark and his wife Sarah and hopefully the other two people from the bombed train who have got in contact.

Messages of support continue to pour in. My local mini-cab firm who know me well, and the local Turkish shopkeepers, who are all Muslims, have all passed on best wishes and told me how the local mosque is raising money for those injured.

I told them I was happy that people were all standing shoulder to shoulder to condemn the bombers and to encourage each other.

More bombs went off in Iraq, I just saw on the news, killing many people including small children.

All over the world ordinary people try to do their best in a frightening world.

I'm thinking about all of those who are terrified, injured, caught up in events beyond their control. I'm thankful for the peace and quiet of my little sunny garden where I can have some time to myself.


Getting into work really took it out of me. I arrived something of a nervous wreck and stayed wobbly until lunchtime. I was very pleased that I had got on the Tube and faced the fear but my attempts at being efficient in the office were rubbish.

I caught up with e-mails, that kind of thing. It was very hard to focus. Twice I had to hide in the loo and have a quick weep for 10 minutes.

I told the girls on my team about Thursday and they were full of support. Colleagues came to my desk and told me they were glad to see me. I've only worked here since May - it is lovely to know that people are looking out for me.

My lovely friend Susie just called to see how I was and to get some advice on her love life. It's good that things are starting to get back to normality.

I've had another message from another person who was on the train who stood opposite me and got on at King's Cross. I'm very happy that I am able to find out how more people escaped from Carriage One and that we who were there are able to find each other.

He had read my blog and about how I had met up with Mark and Sarah. He also had felt a need to talk to others who had experienced what he had in the dark carriage and tunnel.

He described what he was wearing and I remembered seeing him at Russell Square ticket hall.

Mark and I both e-mailed him back and we are hoping he will be able to join us and other Londoners on Thursday at noon when there will be a two-minute silence. There will also be a vigil in Trafalgar Square at 1800 BST. Hopefully, he will be able to meet for a beer as well - it really does help to talk.

If anyone recognises some of the feelings I have described - numbness, euphoria, guilt, anger - can I ask you to think about talking to someone about it? I've learned this week that while your body might come through an accident in one piece, your mind and memory can be very shocked and also need help to get better.

I'm still watching the news. There were some developments tonight that made me agog at the speed of the police investigative work. But the numb news junkiedom has gone. The attacks are no longer the only thing I think about.

I still lit another candle tonight though. I did so in thankfulness for being alive on a warm summer Tuesday night.


I got to Finsbury Park station with John, who'd managed to wangle coming in late so he could travel with me. I was feeling very frightened but determined.

As I got to the station I discovered that the staff had closed the grille and people were milling about unable to get on the Victoria line train. It turned out that the line was so overcrowded that they weren't letting any more people onto the train.

I almost burst into tears. It brought back many unwelcome memories of Russell Square grille being closed and the commuters milling about outside trying to get onto the train whilst I and the other survivors staggered about trying to get out of the station.

"Do you want to get a cab?" asked John. I said no. "I won't be able to have you next to me next time I get on the Tube, and I've got to get on it, otherwise it will just get worse and worse."

We went and had a coffee and I began to cry with frustration and fear. I didn't want to get on at all but I knew I had to, and the delay was making it harder.

We paid for the coffees and I called work again to let them know I was still trying to get in. Then I pressed my lips together and walked to the platform, turning right to the Victoria line instead of left.

And I got on the first carriage, by the first set of double doors just as I had done on Thursday. But this time I got a seat.

As the train set off I began to well up and shake. I held John tightly. As we approached Kings Cross a man leaned towards me. "Is this your first time back on the tube?" he asked, having noticed my distress and looking a little shaky himself.

I said yes. We began to talk. His name was Eamon and he had been on the same train as me on Thursday! I recognised him from the newspapers.

We talked of how frightened we had been. We both talked in a rush and the journey passed quickly. We exchanged numbers and shook hands. I surfaced at Oxford Circus, with John, in tears of relief and amazed yet again that I had met another survivor.

I arrived at work and had a talk with my boss who was sympathetic and kind.

My team were glad to see me. I'm glad to be here. Made it. Cups of tea all round.


Right. Time to go back to work. On the Tube.

I texted my boss last night and said I would be in, but would it be ok to avoid the rush hour?

So instead of setting off at 8am like I normally do (or 8.20am, like I did on 7/7) I'm going to leave the house after 9am.

I'm feeling very quivery at the thought of it, the sensation of fear is like a shaky feeling in my chest and a watery feeling in my stomach. I'm going to take my heels in a bag and wear flat shoes. In case I need to run. And carry a bottle of water, but I normally do that in hot weather.

The way I am going to manage the Tube journey is to think of getting out the other end and how pleased with myself I will be when I get off. And how much I like my job and want to get back to it. I've only been in my new job since May. Nearly being blown up is not really the way I wanted to raise my profile in the office!

I'm going to look at my fellow passengers, as I said last night, and if I start to have a panic attack I will just break the Don't Talk We're Londoners rule of London Tube-travelling and say "I'm feeling scared, can you help me?".

And if I see anyone leaving their bag unattended I think I will probably slap them.

I'll let you know how I get on.


Mark and his wife Sarah came round tonight, strangers who are neighbours who are now friends, because we are survivors of the bomb.

John and I poured wine and we four sat in the scented garden and listened and talked with the instant confidence of shared experience.

"Where were you? So the bomb was there? Do you remember this face, that sound, what did you do when you heard the driver, did you break the window?

"Did you know it was a bomb? Did you think we were going to suffocate in a fire? Did you think we were going to die?"

Neither Mark nor I had cried properly yet. Both of us very badly needed to hear from someone else in the same carriage, with the same experience.

Both of us spoke of the flashes of shocked memory, the guilt, the elation, the desperate trying to make sense of the senseless. The incomprehensible fact that we were both still here.

Sarah and John talked too, of the worry and fear, the relief and anxiety, the happiness held to the heart, despite the realisation of the damage done to other homes, other families, as the missing never came home.

All of us felt as if we had come on a long journey together by the end of the evening.

Mark told me and John of how he had faced his fears since and boarded the Tube with Sarah at his side.

I realised I had seen him on TV and told him how his determination to "get back in the saddle" had inspired me to get back to work.

He confided how hard it had been, how he, like so many other commuters now dreaded the bang of brakes, the slowing down in a tunnel, the crowding in of bodies, the lack of air.

I thought of the journey by Tube I intended to make tomorrow, and how frightened I felt at the thought.

John had told me how afraid he had felt this morning.

I looked around the table at the four of us, and I thought of Thursday 7 July.

I said I was determined to look into the faces of my fellow travellers tomorrow. Something Tube travellers never do.

As we left the station, I would be thinking, like everyone else in the carriage, of a bang, a cloud of smoke.

Of whether the face opposite me would be the face that looked into my eyes and held my hand if the unimaginable happened. Of whether the stranger on the train would be the guide in the panic and the voice in the dark.

If these bombs make us realise that we are all fellow travellers, that we all need each other and can rely on each other, then something very good will come out of all of this.

I was going to listen to music tonight, something I haven't been able to do since Thursday. But I'm still not quite ready. I can feel the tears there, ready to fall. I am going to light a candle instead. For those who didn't come home.

I am so glad to have talked to someone who was there. It has really, really helped.


I've come back from seeing my GP, who was more shocked than me when I told her what had happened; I had to tell her to pull herself together as she was starting to flap!

She checked my lungs and breathing and everything is fine. My stitches need to stay in another week.

An amazing thing happened today: Mark, a man who was on the train in the same carriage as me got in touch. He had read my account on the urban 75 community internet site where I was originally posting my experiences before I moved to the BBC.

He posted his story too, and we got in contact with each other. It turns out that he lives up the road from me, and when the bomb went off, was one of the people sitting just in front of me behind the driver's cab.

He was the man who spoke to the driver and passed the message back to me: "The driver is going to get us off this train, but we need to make sure that the track isn't live first".

I passed the message to the women around me and we shouted it back into the darkness of the train, to try to stop the panic and screaming.

Because of that communication, many of us escaped calmly and walked to safety. His story exactly matches my story. It is quite incredible to think that we have got in touch. We spoke on the phone, and he and his wife are coming round later to have a glass of wine in my garden with me and John, my partner.

His calm voice in the darkness was one of the things that kept me calm and gave me hope; I had been wondering if I would ever find out about him, and then he gets in touch!

The internet is really coming into its own with people sharing information and comfort and news.

John made it into work safely and called me to say he had arrived. It is hard for him as well; he has been supporting me unstintingly and has had to deal with the information that I escaped death by yards and so nearly didn't emerge from such a hellish scene.

He says it is rather hard to concentrate on the minutiae of work at the moment. I'm not surprised. I also spoke to Jenna, the colleague from my office who I called when I emerged from Russell Square in shock.

She rushed over in a black cab with a first aid kit to Russell Square and took me to hospital. She had only qualified as a first aider the week before, and here she was, helping survivors of a terrorist atrocity!

She was a wonderful comfort to me and others at the hospital and she stayed with me until I found John and we could make our way home.

Then she put on her trainers and jogged back to South London, as all the public transport was in chaos. What a woman. So many ordinary people, who have faced extraordinary things. So inspiring to talk to each other and share our stories.

The fear is leaving me and the sense of pride is growing, proud of myself for holding it together, proud of all the people who helped, proud of London, my adopted city. We're going to put on one hell of an Olympics after this.


Still watching the news. A million poppy petals fell today in memory of those who died in the war 60 years ago.

I couldn't help but think of how it must have been when Londoners endured daily bombings and fear.

Many people have talked of the 'Blitz' spirit being present over the last few days.

If what they mean is a determination to continue with our lives and show compassion, friendliness and humour when we are frightened, instead of hatefulness, then perhaps something of the Blitz spirit is with us still.

I don't want to live in a suspicious, paranoid, angry city. I love London's diversity and tolerance and zest for life.

I want us to get back to normal as soon as possible. If the World War II generation coped with bombs with style and bravery, then, damn it, so can we Londoners of 2005.

I'm e-mailing mates to arrange to meet up socially after work mid-week. I'm going back to work on Tuesday.

I'm going to sleep early tonight though, and rest tomorrow. I feel absolutely shattered.

I think I'll be able to sleep tonight without drinking alcohol to numb myself. The sickly fire smell is fading from my throat and nose and I've hardly coughed at all today.

I'm starting to feel more connected instead of disassociated and I am starting to allow myself to feel deep sadness for what happened, instead of the outrage/ numbness/ euphoria states I have been flickering between since the blast.


I poured myself an enormous whisky after the police had gone on Saturday evening, taking the sealed forensic bags with my sooty stinking suit and blouse that I was wearing on Thursday morning.

I hugged John, my partner, and we stood in the garden, listening to the bees in the lavender bushes. My mouth felt numb.

We looked at each other and we talked of those who were missing and the people who had been standing behind me who took the full force of the blow.

I thought again of the terrible screams I had heard.

The black man covered in blood who was being half carried, half dragged by the white man walking behind me on the tracks to Russell Square.

He had groaned all the way whilst we were walking in silent single file to the Tube.

I thought of how the people behind me had died.

It was a lot to take in.

I had a dizzying sense of vertigo, as if I had stepped back from a sheer cliff and the ground had rushed up to meet me.

I went back into the flat and found the BBC News website and looked at the diagram of my carriage and the train and the bomb. I kept staring at it.

Then I looked at the diagram in the Times of the carriage and the bomb and the little escaping people.

I still couldn't see why I was alive and had escaped with a cut wrist and scratches.

I decided to go out of the house.

I put on lipstick.

It was a beautiful night, warm and soft, and I could smell cooking and the scent of flowers.

The streets seemed quieter than normal, the usual crowds of young men who hang around outside the cafes of Finsbury Park were not there.

John and I held hands tightly.

I met my best friend, Jane, who lives close by, in a nearby bar and suddenly a wave of joy hit me again, and none of us could stop talking, and smiling at each other.

We left the bar and picked up some wine from the off licence and I found myself beaming at the Turkish shopkeeper as if he was a favourite uncle

He looked bemused but smiled back.

We sat in Jane's garden downing glass after glass of cold wine and eating mango salad that her next door neighbour brought over, all of us babbling with happiness - and getting completely drunk.

I walked home, still holding John's hand and I fell into bed at 0300, saying to myself again and again "I'm alive. I'm really alive. I'm still here", and I hugged myself.

Woke up this morning still in a disbelieving state, mildly hungover, with sun pouring through the curtains.

I've been sitting in the garden again still ploughing my way through the newspapers, still reading and re-reading other witness accounts.

I was reading about horror and death and maiming in the sunshine, with the cat snoring next to me.

I felt sick as I read, then that floating with happiness dislocated feeling.

I keep wondering at myself, why am I still reading the news all the time, when I know what happened?

I am a bit disgusted with my own reactions.

I suppose I am still shocked and my reactions still aren't normal.

I have only cried once. I don't think I can bear to cry properly yet. I suppose it will happen in time.


After a detailed anti-terrorism staff interview I found out some stuff I needed to share.

The King's Cross bomb was placed at the end of the first carriage, not the first set of doors on the front carriage as reported on the news.

The Tube tunnel was very narrow here and the train was very crowded, which was why most of the people were killed and hurt at the back of carriage one and front of carriage two.

From being there about seven to 10 yards from the blast, I can say that there were people behind me who may not have got out alive.

About 10 behind me walked to safety.

I can also say that when I was at University College Hospital there was one woman at least that I saw with total amnesia who had no idea of her name, address, anything, so please therefore do not give up hope, if you are searching.

There is a small hope.

I can also say that the blast was very intense, so if you were right next to it, it would have been almost instantaneous, because the tube tunnel was so small, and the train so rammed, those next to it would have taken the full force of the blast. I do not know what else to say, I am sorry.


Yesterday was a weird day.

I felt sick all day, which I think was the smoke inhalation and the news overload.

Friends called and texted and several beautiful bunches of flowers arrived. I love flowers.

I felt overwhelmed by support and love.

Also felt hugely freaked out as I felt I could so nearly have died.

Couldn't stop watching news.

The rolling BBC and ITV news started saying the bomb at King's Cross was on the first carriage by the double doors going towards Russell Square - near where I had been standing.

When the blast went off I fell to the left into a heap of people, by the left-hand set of doors.

It was too dark to see what was smashed.

We escaped through the driver's cab and walked to Russell Square but the news said most people escaped out the back and walked to King's Cross.

When I started hearing the bomb was in my carriage, I flipped. I started pacing about.

I phoned the BBC to ask them where they got this information from, then I phoned the anti-terrorist hotline and gave a more detailed witness statement.

I was alternately pounding with anger and adrenalin, and having mini-flashbacks, then feeling falling-over-tired.

I drank several whiskies.

My sister came to visit, and I was so glad to see her, and we ate some pizza with my boyfriend - suddenly I was starving after eating barely anything for 24 hours.

I just had endless cups of tea.

I watched a programme about orphaned baby elephants on the BBC and briefly felt normal delight.

I tried to sleep and kept jumping up remembering the bang and smelling the smoke and hearing the screams.

I took a herbal remedy and calmed down and went to sleep about 11pm still feeling nauseous and utterly drained.

Today I feel much better. Not sick any more.

The best way to defeat the terrorists is to go to work on the Tube, to dress and work how I want as a woman, to enjoy the rich social life that London offers, to have no fear of other cultures or creeds.

We should only to be wary of the hate-filled, the nihilistic, the furiously angry who won't listen or engage.

I'm now drinking yet more tea and about to put my lovely flowers in vases.

My fingernails are still black, so I'm going to cut them off. My chest still feels full of soot and I'm still coughing a bit. My stitches are healing nicely.

Things feel a bit more normal but I think I am going to see about getting a massage or some trauma counselling.

I've had post-traumatic stress disorder before so I know the drill and how I react.

I am aware of how telling my eyewitness story to a couple of journalists outside the hospital helped me get the story out straight away.

My normal reaction to trauma is to tell someone, to share it.

More journos phoned yesterday. I must have given my mobile to the stringer who was asking questions when I was wandering outside the hospital getting fresh air after being stitched still in shock.

The Mail on Sunday and Metro wanted to send a photographer round! I said no way.

I said I felt it was important to get witness statements out at the time as I was there and felt relatively untraumatised so I'd rather they spoke to me than shoved their mikes and cameras in the faces of those who were shell-shocked or more injured.

Having done that I really do not want any more fuss.

I happened to be there, I said what it was like, that's enough.

I'm dumping on the internet under my urban75 [community and action website] pseudonym. I'm talking to people who love me, I'm doing what I need to get through this.

I was incredibly lucky but I have no desire to become a "Blast Survivor Girlie" one week on.

I still really, really want to know - need to know - if the bomb was on my carriage and if any of the people who I saw getting in at King's Cross were hurt or died, especially the laughing black woman with braids.

Her smiling face haunts me, as does the fact that someone may have got in behind her carrying the bomb.

If the bomb was that close why aren't I dead?

Keep thinking of WH Auden's Icarus poem about the banality of evil.


I'm not going in today because I need to rest up but I will be getting on the Tube on Monday.

And yes, I probably will feel scared and I probably will remember the bomb, but as I said to someone yesterday, when we were on the train stuck underground we established that we could survive a Tube bomb.

I am going to travel again. I don't see what else to do really.

Today, lots of people on the Tube will be worrying about what if and whether they'd cope, and I'll know I did cope, we all coped, which is kind of empowering really.

I'm scared but I'm angry, so I'm using the anger to get through it.

We all need to go to work. Life goes on.

I am angry at those who planned and executed this.

I would like to thank the police officers, CID forensic team, the train driver, all at University College Hospital including the x-ray team, hospital support staff, doctors, nurses, the volunteer nurse Faith who rushed in on her day off to staff the outpatient ward.

You were all absolutely wonderful and magnificent and I take my hat off to you. Thank you for looking after me.

You stitched my wound, x-rayed me, cheered me and calmed me and cared for me. And hundreds of other frightened, hurt people. Big up to you!

Sharing what happened helped.

I am feeling a bit hungover and my arm aches but apart from that I am 90% fine.

I was a bit traumatised and shocked yesterday and kept smelling the horrible smoke smell.

I coughed a lot and blew my nose and it was black, so after that I felt better because I realised I wasn't going mad, the smell was real and would go in time.

Putting a cold decongestant stick up my nose was a good idea.

I am going back to work on Monday regardless of the bombers.

I was so proud of London yesterday. I still am.

Peddling hate-filled nihilistic clap trap is never going to get very far with us.

I am still feeling glad to be here and glad to be alive and grateful to the emergency services and the hero train driver and the police.

I'm going to sit in the garden today and look at the flowers and the sun and appreciate everything.

Personally I would like everything to get back to normal as soon as, with perhaps a deeper understanding of how great being alive in this diverse and beautiful and proud city is.


I'm okay, just starting to crash.

I am keeping calm, but unable to get the horrible smell out of my nose, even though I have had a bath.

I am getting a bit tearful but I had this overwhelming need to get the story out, so everyone owned it and it wasn't just jammed in my head, freaking me out.

It helps to say what happened


I was on a crowded train to work. It was 8.40am when I boarded the rammed Piccadilly line train at Finsbury Park.

Normally I board half way up the train, but the train was so full, I walked up to the front of the train.

I was in the first carriage, behind the driver's carriage, standing by the doors - it was absolutely packed.

Even more people got on at Kings Cross. It felt like the most crowded train ever. Then, as we left Kings Cross, at about 8.55am, there was an almighty bang.

Everything went totally black and clouds of choking smoke filled the Tube carriage and I thought I had been blinded.

It was so dark that nobody could see anything.

I thought I was about to die, or was dead. I was choking from the smoke and felt like I was drowning.

Air started to flood in through the smashed glass and the emergency lighting helped us see a bit. We were OK.

A terrible screaming followed the initial silence.

We tried to stop ourselves from panicking by talking to each other and listening to the driver who started talking to us.

There was screaming and groaning but we calmed each other and tried to listen to the driver.

He told us he was going to take the train forward a little so he could get us out, after he had made sure the track wasn't live.

We all passed the message into the darkness behind us, down the train.

After about 20 to 30 minutes we started to leave the train.

We were choking and trying not to panic because we knew that would mean curtains.

We tried to keep each other calm, I remember saying: "If anyone's boss gives them grief for being late, we know what to say to them, eh, girls?"

People laughed and we kept saying, "not long, it's the long walk to freedom, nearly there".

I knew if we panicked we'd trip on the - possibly live - tracks and it would be hopeless.

So we just tried to stay cool, and trust we'd be safe soon.

We'd escaped from the smashed carriage and just had to stay calm and escape from the dark tunnel too.

We walked carefully through the semi-darkness - we didn't know if the tracks were live so we walked between them - the emergency lights were on in the tunnel.

We walked in single file to Russell Square station and after what felt like half an hour we were lifted off the tracks to safety.

Then I was in a lift, euphorically calm, then in the station foyer, surrounded by filthy blackened shocked people and someone was handing me water.

My mouth was so dry. My lungs felt full of choking dirt and I became aware of a huge bleeding gash full of glass in my wrist and that I could see the bone in my arm, and then I felt sick.

I realised I needed to clean my cut as it was full of grit, and I was bleeding, so I held my arm above my head and breathed in and out hard.

But I also knew I didn't need an ambulance - it was a nasty gash, not a maiming.

I staggered about outside the tube and no-one seemed to know what to do, least of all me.

I called my friend who works in Shaftesbury Avenue and she came in a cab and she took me to University College Hospital.

We asked if anyone wanted to get a lift to the hospital but people seemed too shocked to respond and I started to faint.

I just wanted to get my wound cleaned and stitched and get home.

I was feeling sick and worrying much worse casualties would be coming later.

I was walking wounded, not really badly hurt, and I felt almost bad for having survived and got off so lightly. I knew others behind me were so much worse off than I was.

The hospital staff were so lovely I kept wanting to cry but I knew I needed to stay calm and get home.

I got treated, my cut cleaned of glass and x-rayed.

Hours passed.

I felt even more calm and light-headed as people started to flood into the hospital covered in glass and blood.

The police talked to me and gave me a forensic bag for my clothes.

I felt like I got into the hospital so fast and the emergency services staff weren't quite in the rush hour yet.

I was so very lucky.

The emergency staff were clearly shocked but doing all they could and rose to the occasion so bravely.

I can't thank them enough. They were magnificent.

They kept me in for four hours with shock and they stitched me up but they wouldn't let me go because I had gone deaf and they weren't sure if I had broken my arm.

X-rays proved it was just bashed.

Eventually I got out and met my partner and we walked to Camden as there were no buses or trains and we were desperate to get home.

Seeing his face was wonderful. I started to shake with the relief of being alive.

In the pub I found out there had been many bombs.

I went into shock - I probably still am in shock.

It took another two hours to get home after a friend managed to pick us up in her car.

I am very lucky. I feel euphoric. I'm sure I'll crash soon, but right now, I'm so glad to be alive.

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