Index 22 & 23 - Russell Square Statements
Official version of events
There was no explosion at Russell Square. The nearest incidents were the Piccadilly Line train and the Tavistock Square bus bombs, both of which occurred approximately 500 metres away.
Did an explosion or explosions take place at Russell Square itself; either in the station or the surrounding area?
Exhibits (RS1 - RS10b & RS11 - RS20)
RS3 The statement by a Sky News reporter “Something awful must have happened at Russell Square, I have just scene body after body being pulled out” was heard by the writer when watching the unfolding news coverage on the morning of 7th July.
RS6 Angie Scarisbrick (who was subsequently awarded the MBE) was watching developments over Kings Cross when she “heard an explosion –saw flame and smoke” and saw “people gathering in an alleyway near Russell Square tube.”
RS15 and RS16a both reveal that something had happened to immobilize the lifts. (This must have been after the majority of those evacuated from train 311 had reached the station as a number of them have recounted going up in the lifts from the platform to the concourse!)
There can be no reasonable doubt that there was an explosion, or explosions, in the Russell Square area which the authorities have chosen to cover-up. The most convincing proof that this was separate from the train explosion is probably the statement of Angie Scarisbrick (supra) that she was watching an air ambulance hovering over Kings Cross when she heard the blast.
Reports of an explosion at this station have closed all tube lines. No information is available on when tube service will return to normal.
Source (removed) : Meta Zone
Another Australian woman believed to be from Port Stephens, NSW, was injured in the bus blast. She had boarded the No. 30 bus, minutes before it was torn apart, after she had been evacuated from the nearby Russell Square Tube station, where another bomb had gone off.
Source: The Age
One Sky News reporter in Russell Square reported that "body after body" is being pulled from the Russell Square tube station as ambulances show up. Doctors apparently are wandering around in orange suits going into the tube tunnels. Some of the wounded are exiting the station covered in silver blankets; many stretchers are being carried out.
Source: Fox News
The number of explosions has been now reported as seven - Russell Square and Tavistock Square are apparently separate incidents.
Source: All Info About London
Mike Preece said 7 July at GOSH was not about one or two people.
We then became aware there were bombings at Russell Square and Tavistock Square."
"After the bombings, a lot of the roads were blocked off and the ambulances couldn't get to UCH, so adult casualties started arriving at GOSH instead. A number of staff were helping at the tube station and there were requests by police for medical supplies, so we took them up.
Source: Institute of Child Health
Angie Scarisbrick, CCC nurse practice educator
"I arrived at work at 8.15am. My office, on the eighth floor of the Old Nurses' Home, has a birds' eye view of King's Cross Station, St Pancras and the Brunswick Centre at Russell Square. The first inkling that something serious was going on was when we noticed the Red Air Ambulance from the Royal London hovering at King's Cross. It would momentarily descend out of view and then rise up and leave again. Soon after that we heard an explosion, saw flames and smoke, and watched as the men on the scaffolding at the Brunswick Centre looked and started climbing down the building." I could also see people gathering in the alleyway near Russell Square tube, so I grabbed my mobile phone and walked up to the station. I thought there might be people who needed help, so I made the decision to go."
"When I got to Russell Square tube there was a police cordon around the station. I saw a lot of ambulances and work colleagues, and then was told a bomb had gone off. The first thing I saw was a man who was completely blackened and the leg below his left knee was missing."
Source (archived) : Institute of Child Health
p39 7 July Review Committee, Transcript of hearing on 23 March 2006
In reference to earlier testimony, as far as I understand it, the police officers and others at Russell Square, defied their protocols to enter the tunnel as soon as they could, and placed themselves at great personal risk in the full knowledge and belief that there were secondary devices that were imminently going to explode.
Source: 7 July Review Committee [PDF]
Emma Taylor, 22, said: I was on a bus near Tavistock Crescent and we suddenly got evacuated. Police told us to just run away and we just ran. I ran around the corner into Russell Square and people were being pulled out of the station covered in blood.
Source: Camden New Journal
Meilik did not waste time, and his speedy response saved lives.
“I have heard enough explosions to know what they sound like, and when I heard the boom I sprung into action,” he said later.
Leaving his wife and children at the hotel, which was evacuated moments later by police, he dashed outside to find out what had happened.
“People were pointing at the tube station and so I went in,” he said. “There was carnage, smoke everywhere and suddenly paramedics rushed in after me
Source: Jewish News Weekly
She said: " We got to King's Cross when they told us to get off because a bomb had blown up in Russell Square. I tried to walk to work from there but they held us there."
Source: Hampstead & Highgate Express
One of those students is Katy Schaefer, a Communications Major studying investigative journalism at Scotland Yard. Her apartment is just across the street from Russell Station where at least two bombs went off.
24 Hour News 8 talked to her father, Bill, who says he was on the phone with her shortly after the first blast. The second bomb exploded and that's when the phone line went dead. The Schaefers were able to reconnect via the Internet.
Source: Wood TV
English major Leah Stevenson said she had a hard time accepting a terrorist attack just occurred. Stevenson also purchased a tube ticket earlier and planned using the Russell Square station for transportation. Three bombs were detonated at Russell Square station the morning of July 7.
"We were literally feet away from the explosions," Stevenson said. "A few people from our group had gone to Russell Square station shortly after the bomb went off and saw people crawling out of the tube all cut up and bloody.
Source: Daily Eastern News
Katherine Hunt, consultant anaesthetist at the NHNN, went to help casualties in Russell Square. “As the on-call consultant that day, I was initially down at the front desk helping to coordinate staff and communicating with my ITU colleagues who were preparing to move patients out so that we could receive if we needed to. A colleague then took over and myself, plus two more anaesthetists, some theatre and nursing staff, collected dressings fluids and cannulas and ran round to Russell Square. There were around 30 to 40 casualties lying on the ground when we arrived and we helped where we could. Together with LAS staff, we worked in teams of three or four triaging patients, inserting intravenous lines, providing pain relief and then moving patients into ambulances. Nothing in my medical career has ever prepared me for the scene I witnessed that day.”
Briony Southcott, operating department practitioner at the NHNN, was one of the volunteers who went down to Russell Square with the hospital’s anaesthetists “We arrived in Russell Square about 45 minutes after the explosions to see what we could do. I had no idea what I was going to find and as we were running there my heart was going like the clappers, but when we arrived I just switched onto autopilot to get on with the job in hand. By that time, most of the walking wounded had already got out of the station and the more serious casualties were in the ticket office. We had taken additional fluids and intravenous lines with us, and we looked around to see where we could be of most use.”
John Geoghan was one of several porters from the NHNN who helped carry medical equipment to treat the injured in Russell Square “I was one of six or seven porters who helped take oxygen cylinders, trolleys and fluids from the NHNN round to Russell Square tube station. We also helped the injured at the scene onto trolleys and relayed messages between those in Russell Square and the major incident leads back at the NHNN. I was really proud of the way people worked together and everyone did what they could do to help.”
Not on my shift
Michael Collinson, a Great Ormond Street nurse, had spent the night on a colleague's sofa-bed, in a basement flat seven doors down from the tube. He got up at 9.15, looking forward to going home to Bexhill-on-Sea. He was getting out of the shower when he heard the helicopter. "I'd heard lots of sirens, but that's nothing unusual on Bernard Street," he says. "And then the helicopter came down low. That's when you know it's got to be a drop-off or a pick-up." He threw on a T-shirt and jeans, opened the front door, and climbed the stairs to find a paramedic standing beside an ambulance. "I'm a nurse," Collinson said. "Do you need a hand?" The paramedic pointed at the tube station. "Get in there, mate," was all he said.
There was an odd sense of calm in the ticket hall: paramedics were tending to several passengers, and acrid smoke hung in the air, but nobody was screaming. Someone shouted that they needed fluids and oxygen, so Collinson ran back down Bernard Street to the hospital. He burst into the canteen to find several of his colleagues gathered around a plasma screen, watching the breaking news on Sky. "I think I was a little bit possessed by this point," Collinson says. "I think they were just as much in shock as I was, but somehow you're divorced from it when you're watching TV. I was pretty shocked to see them. I just shouted out: 'Anybody who's medical - you're needed. Get up to Russell Square.' I think it was the look in my eyes: people started moving straight away." It was then that Collinson commandeered the delivery truck, loading it with supplies from Great Ormond Street's Peter Pan ward.
Back at the tube, he started treating a man whose leg had been blown apart in the explosion. The man asked Collinson if he was going to die. "Not on my shift," Collinson said.
Running between the station and the hospital, Collinson had been joined by Paul Hegarty, a Great Ormond Street doctor, along with a passing Israeli plastic surgeon visiting London on holiday. "As soon as you see your first casualty, which in my case was a nasty limb injury, your persona changes," says Hegarty, an Irishman with unruly hair and an intense manner. "You no longer register, at a human level, the disgust of something. You switch into your professional capacity, and everything you see after that doesn't affect you. Even if you see worse things."
Staff at the Tesco opposite the station let the medics take what they needed, which meant water, primarily, but also cling film for treating burns. Hegarty remembers seeing one man's neck being stabilised, in the absence of a neck brace, by two one-litre bottles of Vittel, either side of his head. He started ferrying intravenous drips down to the platform via the lifts, assisted by a Great Ormond Street pharmacist, Abdi Aden, but when they got there, they were turned back. Nobody remained, they were informed, who could be helped by fluids.
Reflecting later, Hegarty realised something that might offer solace to those bereaved by the Piccadilly line bomb. Only some of those he treated could even remember hearing a bang - and those who died, he says, may well have had no awareness of what happened. "They probably wouldn't even have had fear - the thought that something was wrong. They might not even have heard a bang, because you feel an explosion before you hear it. If it's any consolation to the relatives, it was like flicking a switch, and the switch is flicked before you're aware of it."
By the time Collinson returned to Great Ormond Street, it was transformed. The hospital has no accident and emergency department, but the canteen had been turned into a field hospital, complete with a triage site and 10 beds, each staffed by a surgeon and a nurse. A minor injuries unit had been set up at the inhouse branch of Costa Coffee.
Russell Square station supervisor David Boyce, 26, helped evacuate passengers trapped in the lifts.
Then he went down to the platforms and ran into a smokefilled tunnel to give first aid.
Source: The Mirror
Barely alive, she was brought from the train wreckage up the 145 emergency steps at Russell Square tube by six policemen. There were no stretchers.
Another bomb was expected and there were orders to evacuate the scene, but the nurse who was massaging her heart refused to abandon her.
Source: The Telegraph
Gill Hicks, who was seriously injured in the explosion at Russell Square where she was treated by London Ambulance Service staff,
Source: London Ambulance
Barry Kent was waiting anxiously on the edge of Russell Square behind the police cordons for his stepdaughter Noam Rave, 18, who was on a train being evacuated at the station.
He had managed to speak to her only briefly. She told him there had been "a big bang and that they had evacuated the train, took them up to the station and kept them at the station and wouldn't let them out".
He had started communicating to her by text message at 10.32am. He managed to speak to her around this time, when he said she was "distraught and crying". At 10.34am his text messages show that she was inside Russell Square station. At 10.38am she was inside the hotel, then there was a gap before he heard from her again. At 11.27am she told him that she was "in Holiday Inn".
Source: The Guardian
P178 7 July Review Committee – transcript of private meeting with Ian (King’s Cross/Russell Square)
I made it to the lift and I got up to the top of Russell Square. I don’t remember it being particularly busy because I think what had happened, by putting the pieces together, was that those who could get out, had got out by then; they had gone. There was clearly something kicking off, but it wasn’t pandemonium at that point. Have you been to Russell Square? It’s quite small. It’s not big. I went to the far side, and I then became aware that I virtually had nothing on because everything had been blown off; everything sort of stuck to you. My first thought, being in the modern world, was ‘Does my mobile still work?’ because I have to try to speak to my mum and dad. I went to the very far side and I leant across on the wall, and I called mum and dad. I couldn’t really hear them because my hearing had gone, but my message was something like, ‘There has been a bomb’. People ask how you know there was a bomb, but you have seen enough bombs in the Middle East and from Israel and all these kinds of places in the world to know what the inside of a bombed, contained space looks like. A woman came over and she said, ‘You have to get off the phone and you have to lie down. You are hurt’. The weird thing is that up to that point, I don’t really feel hurt, and then it hits me suddenly that I was struggling to breathe, and I looked down and saw blood pouring off and skin hanging off and my whole hand is burnt.
Source: 7 July Review Committee [PDF]
At Friends House, opposite Euston Station, Quakers set up an emergency unit for the hundreds of people blocked in the middle of the explosions at Kings Cross, Woburn Place and Russell Square.
Source: Times Online
My best friend is stuck at Russell Square as she was evacuated from her home. I want to go and pick her up, I know she's alright but she can't go home, I should be with her.
Source: BBC News