Index 20 - King's Cross to Russell Square - Official Version
Official version of events
At 0850 a bomb exploded on Piccadilly line train number 311 travelling south from King’s Cross to Russell Square. Twenty six people plus the bomber were killed. More than 340 were injured. The trapped passengers were rescued by members of the police and fire brigade approaching respectively from Russell Square and Kings Cross.
Were the reports given by the “blue light” services to the media “embellished” in order to support an over catastrophic picture of events on the train?
Exhibits (K-R(O)1 - K-R(O)10)
K-R(O)3a-b has firefighter Aaron Roche as the first person to enter the stricken carriage. He is described as striding along the tunnel towards the train when “it had just turned 10am”! He encountered passengers laying sprawled in every carriage whilst at either end of 346A “bodies lay three to four deep”.
K-R(O)5 is a Guardian feature which states that Terence Adams, a divisional commander with London Fire Brigade, was at Kings Cross when the first bomb went off and climbed down into the tunnel to help bring out the 21 bodies.
In the light of the statements from those present on the train and detailed in the related folders; the versions given by Steve Betts and Aaron Roche are clearly fabrications. Unless they are describing a different train altogether!
K-R(O)9 & K-R(O)10 underline the fact that it was London Underground staff who were first at the scenes to assist the passengers. Why have they not been given the publicity that they deserve. Can it be that they could not be trusted to be “on message”?
At 0850 BST a bomb exploded on Piccadilly line train number 311 travelling south from King's Cross station to Russell Square.
The device was next to the rear set of double doors in the front carriage of the train. Twenty-six people, plus the bomber, were killed. More than 340 were injured.
On board the train was BBC News reporter Jacqui Head, who described the immediate aftermath: "There was immediately smoke everywhere and it was very hot and everybody panicked. People started screaming and crying."
After emergency services arrived and survivors were led to safety, recovery teams and investigators began work.
The Piccadilly line is 21.3 metres (70 feet) below ground at this point. Intense heat of up to 60C, dust, fumes, vermin, asbestos and initial concerns the tunnel might collapse delayed the extraction of bodies and the forensic operation.
The bomber was later named as Germaine Lindsay, aged 19
Source: BBC News
Sergeant Steve Betts of the British Transport police was one of the first rescuers to reach the Piccadilly line train between King's Cross and Russell Square on Thursday.
The tunnel where the train was was about 150 metres down the track round a corner and there were still a few wounded coming towards us as we approached.
I got into the train and it was quite obvious that this was something horrendous. There were people with limbs missing, huge open wounds with their organs showing and people were crying out and moaning and asking for help.
thought, this is the worst thing I have ever seen. I am not very good in enclosed spaces at the best of times and we had to climb over bodies and body parts to try to help people and see who was still alive.
We had not yet got into the carriage where the bomb had exploded but we had to get in there to make sure no one else was alive. That was a scene I cannot describe.
The roof had collapsed and we had to almost crawl in. There were body parts everywhere, there was not one bit as far as I could see that was not covered with organs or blood or bits of body.
Source: The Guardian
He found her bolt upright, sitting still in some sort of private hell. For an hour she had remained, unblinking in the gloom, hemmed in by corpses on either side
It had just turned 10am when Roche began striding along the dark tunnel tow-ards the stranded train. No one had a clue what had caused its sudden breakdown. Roche had begun to fear the worst, though, as he came across a bedraggled string of passengers, their blackened, bleeding faces almost invisible in the choking clouds of smoke.
At either end of 346A, bodies lay three to four feet deep. In its centre, though, the floor was clear.
Source: The Observer
Policeman recalls 7 July horror
Inspector Stephen Mingay was the first police officer to reach the blast-hit Tube train at King's Cross underground when the bombers struck on 7 July.
He was standing at the entrance to the Piccadilly Line when he felt an explosion beneath his feet. "I literally felt the explosion through the ground," he said after receiving an award for his "outstanding actions".
After aiding the walking wounded, he eventually reached the carriage where the bomb had detonated. "What I saw in that carriage - no amount of training could prepare you for that," he said.
"I called for quiet and identified myself and what I was going to do for them; to go back so as I could get the specialist help they needed."
Source: BBC News
A divisional commander with London Fire Brigade, he was at King's Cross when the first bomb went off and climbed down into the tunnel to help bring out the 21 bodies.
Source: The Guardian
p 215 In Russell Square, the sound of the explosion was interpreted as a secondary device having detonated in the tunnel. Later a further suspect device was found above ground and led to patients being moved to a different location.
Source: 7 July Review Committee [PDF]
ANDY HAYMAN, SPECIALIST OPERATIONS: Our people are working under the most extreme circumstances. And when I describe the scene in Russell Square, it's yet to be the case for us to get near the carriage.
BLAIR: What we've done is, with the help of the London Fire Brigade and the London ambulance service, all living people have been removed from that site. What was then decided was that the dead would be left there, because the roof was too dangerous until it was shored up. But there is nothing -- don't get any impression that there are living casualties down in the Tubes.
TRUNDLING slowly along a tunnel far below London, an ingenious little buggy finally brought the bodies of 21 Piccadilly Line bomb victims away from the massacre scene
Source: Times Online
THE TUBE BOSS
Tim O’Toole is managing director of London Underground.On 13 July he reported to the board of Transport for London on the events of 7 July.
We had station staff and local management who plunged into tunnels unhesitatingly to deal with horrific circumstances. They went onto trains seeing people with limbs severed, with the most horrific injuries, clothes blown off bodies, only parts of chest cavities remaining, really horrific stuff. Yet they went in unhesitatingly following their training, and moved people out within two minutes.
Source: Railway Professional [PDF]
P 145 7 July Review Committee – transcript of private meeting with George (King’s Cross/Russell Square)
George: My first point of contact with officialdom, other than the two drivers, was when we were being helped up on to the platform at Russell Square, there were three LU people with the fluorescent jackets on them, and they were helping everybody up, physically, helping them up on to the platform. The poor guy who I helped along the tunnel, I now know that he had a lump of metal in his foot – that is why he was screaming; he couldn’t walk, but I didn’t know at the time. My first point of officialdom was the three LU staff, but I don’t know what level of authority they were.
Richard Barnes (Chair): They were Underground were they?
George: They were definitely Underground. There were no paramedics or any kind of medical assistance at that point on the platform.
Source: 7 July Review Committee [PDF]