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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 July 2006, 20:41 GMT 21:41 UK
Images of 7 July: Lucky escape
Martin Bailey's daughter's car next to the exploded bus in Tavistock Square
Pic: Michael Hughes

Minutes after Martin Bailey dropped his daughter off at work on 7 July, he pulled up alongside the number 30 bus in Tavistock Square.

Despite being right next to the bus when 18-year-old Hasib Hussain detonated a bomb on the top deck - killing 13 passengers and injuring more than 100 others - Mr Bailey escaped unscathed.

Martin Bailey
The car was taken away by forensics experts

Mr Bailey drives his daughter Collette, 22, to work in her car most days.

He does not usually take that route back to their home in Primrose Hill, north London, but Collette had jumped out early and he decided to go back via Tavistock Square, he says.

"I was stationary, going north, and the bus was going south.

"I had seen people walking along who had been diverted from King's Cross but I couldn't understand why there were so many people.

"The bus driver was talking to someone through his window and I was trying to listen to what they were saying. I had a feeling there was something up.

"All of a sudden I saw a flash, there was a quick boom and I dived for cover, laying down on the front seat of the car.

A couple of days later my wife and I were at Ikea, and this little boy's balloon burst - I spun round as quick as anything when I heard the noise

"There was stuff falling down on the car. I waited for the noise to stop. I sat up and I could see people on the bus trying to get off the top. There were bits of flesh on the road.

"I jumped out the other door of the car and ran up a side street. I was standing in this turning and I looked back and it was just carnage.

"People were screaming. I thought maybe something else was going to happen and I just wanted to get away from it all. I didn't have any medical knowledge, I wouldn't have known what to do.

"I spoke to a police officer and they said I wouldn't be getting my car back. I didn't even look back at it.

"I wandered up the road a bit and stood for a while. I phoned my wife and told her what had happened. Her office was about a five minute walk away so I went there.

"I sat in her office and had a cup of tea, I was feeling pretty shaky.

"I'm a very laid back person, but when I got home I did feel I had been very lucky, I am a very lucky person for walking away from that.

"A couple of days later my wife and I were at Ikea, and this little boy's balloon burst - I spun round as quick as anything when I heard the noise.

"My wife is not as laid back as me - she said she couldn't believe how lucky I was. She was upset and crying on the day it happened.

"When I see 7 July stuff on the news I think about it for a while, and people ask me about it all the time."

The car was taken away by forensics experts, and kept for six weeks.

"They brought it to a garage near where we live, and when I went to collect the stuff from it the roof was dented, the back window was gone and the front screen cracked.

"My daughter got a new car when the insurance paid out. It took ages, it was months. It was strange for her, knowing her car had been involved like that."

Interview: Paula Dear




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