London remembers the Aldgate and other 7/7 terrorist bombings of 2005
PUBLISHED: 09:00 07 July 2015
An inter-faith service of remembrance is being held in the East End this-afternoon just half-a-mile from the scene of death and destruction of the Aldgate bombing exactly 10 years ago today—one of four terrorist bombs set off on London’s public transport network on the morning of the notorious 7/7 attacks of 2005. Mike Brooke, News Editor of the East London Advertiser at the time, recalls what happened as events unfurled on that fateful morning:
The Advertiser was already out on the streets that Thursday morning when I arrived to open the office in Cambridge Heath Road at 7.30am.
The splash news on the front was that London had scooped the 2012 Olympics which were going to be staged at Stratford. All that was soon to be brushed aside.
It was around 8.40am that there was the first hint of anything going wrong—a power surge was reported on the London Underground which brought trains to a standstill on the Circle line.
Then a message came from the Fire Brigade’s main control room at 8.45am that there was an explosion on the line.
A second message at 8.50am came that emergency crews were responding to reports of a bomb going off.
Crews from Shadwell, Whitechapel and Bethnal Green were being mobilised and sent to Aldgate.
But more was to come. Another explosion was reported on a westbound Circle line train at Edgware Road in the other direction.
Then a third blast, this-time on the deep-level Piccadilly line going south from King’s Cross towards Russell Square.
London Underground began shutting down the network and evacuating 200,000 commuters from 500 trains.
Advertiser senior reporter Lucy Teagle, meanwhile, phoned in to say she would be late because of the disruptions—I diverted her to go straight to Aldgate rather than come into the office. A fourth bomb went off soon after, on a crowded bus in Tavistock Square.
Another reporter, Barney Stokes, was dispatched to Aldgate to join Lucy and photographer Steve Bishop as events unfurled.
They met survivors emerging from the tunnel who recalled how the carriage suddenly filled with smoke when the bomb exploded and having to grope through smoke several hundrered yards along the track to reach the platform at Aldgate, guided by rescuers. But seven passengers in the wrecked carriage didn’t make it.
A fire crew from Whitechapel was the first at the scene, making their way 200 yards through the smoke-filled tunnel to the wreckage to get the survivors to safety and to medical aid.
Other firefighters from Shadwell and Bethnal Green helped free casualties trapped in the carriage and brought them to the street, helping ambulance paramedics give first-aid.
Reporter Jessica Smith, in her first week on the paper, went off with the office camera to the Royal London Hospital where the injured and walking wounded had been ferried by ambulance and even in a commandeered double-decker bus.
By now, a link was emerging, that both Circle line trains going in opposite directions had passed through King’s Cross at the same time. Soon after, the Piccadilly line train destroyed at Russell Square had also gone through King’s Cross, so had the bus wrecked nearby at Tavistock Square.
The four suicide bombers had arrived at King’s Cross together, it emerged from CCTV footage in the days following—before heading on their separate missions of murder.
Shehzad Tanweer set off his device travelling to Aldgate, killing seven innocent passengers and injuring another 171.
Mohammad Khan detonated the second bomb at Edgware Road, killing six and injuring 163, while Germaine Lindsay triggered his deadly device at Russell Square, killing 26 people and injuring 340.
Hasib Hussain detonated the fourth bomb an hour later, at 9.47am on the bus in Tavistock Square, leaving 13 dead and 110 injured.
The attacks coincided with the G8 summit at Gleneagles in Perthshire that day, attended by world leaders including Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George Bush.
But the recrimination from that day’s bombings were to last well beyond.
An inquest five years on, in 2010, into the deaths of the 52 people was to examine alleged failings of MI5 concerning the months leading up to the 7/7 bombings.
Families of the victims, including the seven who died at Aldgate, had campaigned for nearly five years for the inquests to investigate whether the attacks could have been prevented after it was revealed that two of the suicide bombers had cropped up in a surveillance operation in 2004.
Events across London today will mark 10 years since the attack, with the main service of commemoration taking place at St Paul’s Cathedral at 11am for families of the victims and survivors.
An interfaith service for the seven who died at Aldgate is being held at 3pm at Altab Ali Park in the Whitechapel Road, opposite Aldgate East Underground station, less than half-a-mile from Aldgate station itself. It is lead by Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs and conducted by The Rev Alan Green, chairman of Tower Hamlets Interfaith Forum.
Faith leaders from the Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Bhuddist communities and others are attending.
Those who died at Aldgate on July 7, 2005, were:
• Lee Baisden, aged 34
• Benedetta Ciaccia, 30
• Richard Ellery, 21
• Richard Gray, 41
• Anne Moffat, 48
• Fiona Stevenson, 29
• Carrie Taylor, 24.
Those who died at Edgware Road on July 7, 2005, were:
• Michael Stanley Brewster, 52
• Jonathan Downey, 34
• David Graham Foulkes, 22
• Colin William Morley, 52
• Jennifer Vanda Nicholson, 24
• Laura Webb, 29.
Those who died at Russel Square on July 7, 2005, were:
• James Adams, 32
• Samantha Badham, 35
• Phillip Beer, 22
• Anna Brandt, 41
• Ciaran Cassidy, 22
• Elizabeth Daplyn, 26
• Arthur Frederick, 60
• Emily Jenkins, 24
• Adrian Johnson, 37
• Helen Jones, 28
• Karolina Gluck, 29
• Gamze Gunoral, 24
• Lee Harris, 30
• Ojara Ikeagwu, 56
• Susan Levy, 53
• Shelley Mather, 25
• Michael Matsushita, 37
• James Mayes, 28
• Behnaz Mozakka, 47
• Mihaela Otto, 46
• Atique Sharifi, 24
• Ihab Slimane, 24
• Christian Small, 28
• Monika Suchocka, 23
• Mala Trivedi, 51
• Rachell Chung For Yuen, 27
Those who died at Tavistock Square on July 7, 2005, were:
• Anthony Fatayi-Williams,26
• Jamie Gordon, 30
• Giles Hart, 55
• Marie Hartley, 34
• Miriam Hyman, 31
• Shahara Islam, 20
• Neetu Jain, 37
• Sam Ly, 28
• Shayanuja Parathasangary, 30
• Anat Rosenberg, 39
• Philip Russell, 28
• William Wise, 54
• Gladys Wundowa, 50