Paramedic made ‘a wrong decision’ in calling for extra crew, 7/7 inquest hears

One of the first paramedics at the scene of the Aldgate tube explosion following the 7/7 terrorist attacks admitted making a wrong decision in calling for extra crew, the inquest for the 52 victims heard yesterday (November 2).

It was also told how emergency workers workers, including paramedics from Poplar Ambulance Station and doctors from Whitechapel’s Royal London Hospital, faced a “high risk” of a second attack.

Shehzad Tanweer detonated a bomb on board the eastbound Circle Line train at 8.49am, killing seven people.

Steve Jones and David Parnell were the first two paramedics to go down to the wrecked carriage and they asked those who were able to walk to make their way to the ground level.

Mr Jones also asked a British Transport officer to go to ground level to get five ambulance crews.

Mr Jones told the High Court in London: “This was a wrong decision on my part as this delayed extrication.

“I initially asked for five crews and then realised that was – that I actually needed stretchers rather than crews. We had enough crews below ground.

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“I went topside myself to say what I actually needed is stretchers.”

At ground level, he took five foldaway stretchers from an emergency vehicle which he and two other people took back to the train.

He estimated this took “quite easily 10 minutes”.

The inquest also heard from Dr David Lockey who was working as a pre-hospital care doctor at the Royal London Hospital on the day.

On arrival at the scene, he and a colleague, Dr Gareth Davies, spoke to senior fire officers at the station’s ticket office who told them there was still “a high risk” of a second bomb being exploded.

Mr Lockey said: “We were aware of the possibility that the scene was unsafe.

“Certainly our experience from talking to other colleagues in the Madrid bombings, where there were ten different devices, I believe, on four trains, led us to believe that we should try to clear the patients away from the potential danger as soon as possible.”

The inquest heard that Dr Lockey certified death in five casualties.

He was told by a fire officer of two casualties on the tracks and was told by a senior fire officer and paramedic that one of the casualties was ‘dead and I did not need to see them’.

He was asked if he should have gone to certify death in that casualty,

He said: “Paramedics can indeed confirm death, but yes, in retrospect, I probably would go and see them now, but I didn’t.”

The inquest continues.