Met Police chief pays tribute on 15th anniversary to those killed in London bombings
- Credit: Archant
Police commissioner Cressida Dick has paid tribute on the 15th anniversary to the 52 people killed in the 2005 terrorist suicide bombings on London’s public transport including the seven at Aldgate Underground station.
Four attacks by fundamentalists were carried out on July 7 that year, three on the Underground and one on a bus.
“We remember the 52 who lost their lives in those terrible, terrible events,” the Met Commissioner said.
“We remember the people they were, the good they did, the lives they should have been able to lead, so cruelly snatched away.
“We think also of those who were injured — lives turned upside-down and families of all those affected.”
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The East London Advertiser was already out on the streets that Thursday morning with the front-page news that London had scooped the 2012 Olympics to be staged at Stratford.
It was 8.40am when the first hint came that anything was wrong — a power surge on the Underground which brought trains to a standstill on the Circle line.
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A message came from the Fire Brigade’s control room that there had been an explosion. A bomb had gone off.
But more was to come. Another bomb hit a westbound train at Edgware Road in the other direction, then a third on the deep-level Piccadilly line at King’s Cross.
The Underground began shutting down and evacuating 200,000 commuters from 500 trains, when a fourth bomb wrecked a crowded bus in Tavistock Square.
“We think of the way London reacted,” Commissioner Dick said. “London was not bowed — we came together and have continued to fight the scourge of terrorism ever since.”
She paid tribute to the Met officers and staff who “ran towards terrible scenes”, putting themselves in danger to rescue the injured.
It was the same for fire service crews feeling their way along blackened tunnels to reach passengers, not knowing if there was another explosive that hadn’t gone off, and the ambulance service getting the injured to hospital.
A fire brigade crew from Whitechapel was the first at the scene at Aldgate. Others from Shadwell and Bethnal Green joined the rescue to free those still trapped in the wrecked carriage.
A fleet of ambulances and even a commandeered double-decker bus ferried the injured to the Royal London Hospital.
Survivors emerging from the tunnel told Advertiser reporters at the scene about their carriage suddenly filling with smoke and how they had to grope their way along the track to reach safety. But seven didn’t make it.
The suicide bombers had arrived at King’s Cross together, before heading on their separate missions of murder.
Shehzad Tanweer was later identified as the Aldgate bomber who killed himself and seven innocent passengers.
The Queen visited the Royal London a week on, to thank NHS staff and the air-ambulance crew for having worked round-the-clock to treat the wounded.
These were deeds that the Met Commissioner said “we will not forget”, memories that all those involved on that day will have for the rest of their lives.