Hero cop survivor of 2005 Aldgate train bombing retires on its 11th anniversary
PUBLISHED: 17:33 07 July 2016 | UPDATED: 17:46 07 July 2016
Policewoman Liz Kenworthy has chosen today to retire—the 11th anniversary of the 7/7 London bombings she survived which killed 52 people and injured 700 more.
Four bombs went off on London’s public transport network—a Circle Line train in the tunnel coming into Aldgate station, a Piccadilly Line train at Russell Square, a bus at Tavistock Square coming from Hackney and a third train at Edgware Road.
Pc Kenworthy was on the train coming into Aldgate when it was ripped by one of the four terrorist devices, just minutes after she got on at Liverpool Street.
“At first we didn’t know what happened,” she recalled.
“I thought it was a collision and tried to send a text which didn’t work to say ‘accident, but am ok’, then went to investigate.”
What she saw next has lived with her for 11 years since—having to step over dead bodies and helping the badly injured who were trapped.
“It was dark and a lot of soot blowing about in the explosion,” she remembers.
“The floor was jagged. Metal was torn from the side of the train and ceiling, wires were hanging down. Glass was blown out from the windows, doors were blown off.
“I saw two people with severe leg injuries and a woman trapped by her arm.
“People under foot were dead—others were just sitting in shock.
“I helped those nearest to me with a bit of first aid till help arrived.”
The injured were led along the tracks through the tunnel to the safety of the Aldgate station platform 200 yards ahead. A fleet of ambulances and even commandeered buses took them to the Royal London Hospital.
It was a warm summer’s day—one that London would never forget.
Liz Kenworthy, who has been based at the Houses of Parliament, hands in her uniform and warrant card today to say goodbye to colleagues after 29 years’ service in the Met Police.
Back in 2005, she was a schools’ liaison officer on her way to work on the Circle Line when the bomb went off in the next carriage. She pushed her way through when she heard passengers screaming, using basic first aid training to help those with leg injuries while holding their hands and reassuring others before emergency rescue teams arrived from Whitechapel, Bethnal Green and Shadwell fire-stations—the first on the scene.
Two of the victims Liz helped that day survived. One was Martine Wright, now Wiltshire, who went on to compete in the 2012 Paralympic volleyball team and recently received an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Liz gave evidence at an inquest five years later where coroner Lady Justice Hallett praised her actions on the day, telling her: “You’ve been trained, but you were off-duty and off guard and you yourself were a victim.
“To respond in the way that you did takes a very exceptional person.”
Liz was also honoured with an MBE in 2008 and the Metropolitan Commissioner’s High Commendation for her actions and bravery in that devastated morning rush-hour 11 years ago.
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