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July 7 bombings five years on: Royal London nurse shares his story

PUBLISHED: 16:03 08 July 2010 | UPDATED: 16:14 05 October 2010

Matron Chris Pinch said there was a feeling of community spirit in A&E

Matron Chris Pinch said there was a feeling of community spirit in A&E

NURSE Chris Pinch was off work on the day the suicide bombers struck. But after hearing the news, the matron, who was working as a junior nurse in A&E at the time, contacted the Royal London Hospital to see if they needed his help. As he arrived, the pa

NURSE Chris Pinch was off work on the day the suicide bombers struck.

But after hearing the news, the matron, who was working as a junior nurse in A&E at the time, contacted the Royal London Hospital to see if they needed his help. As he arrived, the patients were already being brought in.

The 34-year-old, who had only gained his A&E qualifications a few days before, said: "I was feeling very anxious. But as I walked in, A&E seemed very calm ... very quiet and everybody was just being very professional and organised. It felt like all the right staff were in the right places."

The 216 patients who passed through the doors in just four hours were divided up according to their injuries.

Chris spent the morning treating those with smoke inhalation, who had been caught on the tube trains only a few carriages away from the bombers.

He said: "The patients looked like they were in shock. They were very quiet and were clearly stunned.

"Some talked about how frightened they had been while others were clearly not ready to talk about it."

Patients admitted to A&E during the night offered to give up their beds as more bomb victims were brought in and offers of food, drinks and rolls of cling film for burn victims came pouring in from shops around the hospital.

And within around three-and-a-half hours, A&E was cleared as patients were moved to wards or sent home.

Chris added: "There was a real feeling of community spirit. It was clearly something that affected us all.

"The first time I went on to a tube after that day, I did feel anxious but then I felt resilient, as I said to myself I was not going to allow it affect my life.

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