J7 Incident Analysis: Edgware Road / Paddington
Edgware Road / Paddington Incident Analysis
This article presents a detailed summary and analysis of the events that occurred in and around Edgware Road and Paddington stations on the London Underground on 7th July 2005.
Index of Sections
- The official version of events
- The breaking story
- The changing story
- Eye witness accounts
- Other witness accounts
- The train journeys that don't make sense
- The Resilience Mortuary
- Other witness accounts
- Edgware Road survivors question the Home Office report
- Mark Honigsbaum's audio report and J7 interview for the Guardian
- Final Greater London Authority 7 July Review Committee Report
- Images of Edgware Road
- Mohammed Sidique Khan identified
- A summary of unanswered questions, inconsistencies & anomalies
The official version of events at Edgware Road suggests that Mohammed Sidique Khan exploded a bomb by the first set of double doors in the second carriage of westbound Circle Line train 216, just yards into the tunnel between Edgware Rd and Paddington stations, at 8.50 on July 7th 2005.
According to the Home Office's Report of the Official Account of the Bombings In London on 7th July 2005, the report that Tony Blair claimed would tell us “exactly what happened that day”:
08.23: The train arrives at King’s Cross, slightly late due to a delay further up the line. The 4 are captured on CCTV at 08.26am on the concourse close to the Thameslink platform and heading in the direction of the London Underground system. At around 08.30am, 4 men fitting their descriptions are seen hugging. They appear happy, even euphoric. They then split up. Khan must have gone to board a westbound Circle Line train, Tanweer an eastbound Circle Line train and Lindsay a southbound Piccadilly Line train.
08.50: At Edgware Road, Mohammad Sidique Khan was also in the second carriage from the front, most likely near the standing area by the first set of double doors. He was probably also seated with the bomb next to him on the floor. Shortly before the explosion, Khan was seen fiddling with the top of the rucksack. The explosion killed 7 including Khan, and injured 163 people.
“Must have”, “most likely" and "probably" are hardly conclusive terms and there is no mention of sighting Khan on CCTV from the platform at Kings Cross where we're told that Khan "must have" boarded this train. The Home Office report also appears to be saying that Khan was both standing and sitting. The precise location of this explosion is also absent from the official report which differs from the report's explanations of the other blasts. The witness to Khan 'fiddling with the top of the rucksack' is consistent with, and highly likely to be, a quote from the questionable eye-witness statements provided by Danny Biddle, statements which will be examined in detail later in this article.
So, do we know 'exactly what happened that day'? According to our research, far from it.
The sequence of events according to the BBC timeline is as follows:
0933 London Underground reports "another incident at Edgware Road" station, PA reports.
0940 British Transport Police say power surge incidents have occurred on the Underground at Aldgate, Edgware Road, King's Cross, Old Street and Russell Square stations.
News broke of an explosion at Liverpool Street at 9.17 on TV news channels. BBC News 24 announced the first report of an explosion at Edgware Road at 9.39, claiming it was the second incident of the morning. ITV News first report at 9.33 that 'London Underground state there has been another incident at Edgware Road station'.
Edgware Road tube station is a name shared by two geographically separate stations on the London Underground, situated in the London Borough of Westminster. The Edgware Road station where the explosion is said to have occurred is the one situated off Edgware Road in Chapel Street. Note that the other station also referred to as Edgware Road is the Edgware Road tube station (Bakerloo Line) which has an entrance on Edgware Road. The stations are approximately 150 metres apart and on opposite sides of the Marylebone Road flyover and dual carriageway. Much like events at the similarly named Aldgate and Aldgate East stations the existence of two Edgware Road stations may have caused much confusion on the day.
|Edgware Road Circle Line Station|
The explosion is said to have occurred on a Circle Line train leaving from the Hammersmith & City & Circle Line station in Chapel Street. Edgware Road is an area well known for its high concentration of Arab shops and restaurants and would be a strange choice for an attack by an alleged Islamic suicide-bomber:
“A few years ago (Edgware Road) looked like the capital of an Arab country, you couldn’t tell it was London”
|Paddington Green High Security Police Station,
opposite Edgware Road station
Paddington Green police station, pictured above, is a high security establishment where terrorist suspects are held in grim conditions in the basement, located opposite the Edgware Road Bakerloo line station. The human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce describes the conditions that suspects are held in:
Detention at the station was grueling several years ago when the maximum pre-charge detention period was seven days, and is intolerable now that suspects can be held for 28 days, said Gareth Peirce, [...] "The cells are like old Victorian lavatories, airless with tiled walls and are either too hot or too cold, depending on the season," she said. "It's like being in a dentist's waiting room, locked in and not able to get out- just endless waiting and a sense of fear and isolation." In a report published this month, the Council of Europe's anti-torture committee said conditions at Paddington Green were inadequate for prolonged periods of detention.
According to the blog of an ambulance dispatcher the first call for ambulances to Edgware Road was made from Paddington Green Police station at 9.20:
At about 0920, I took a call from a rather flustered sounding policewoman from Paddington police station. “There’s been an incident at Edgware Road station!” she said. “An explosion?” I said. “How did you know?” she said, confused. I explained that there had been explosions reported at umpteen other stations too and we thought it was due to a power surge. At that point, we didn’t know how many explosions there had been, we only knew how many stations were affected (Liverpool Street, Aldgate, Aldgate East, Kings Cross, Russell Square, and now Edgware Road and Paddington) so we thought the situation was even worse than it was.
The first travel report from Transport for London states:
9:55 hours - London Underground suspended
- The network has been suspended until further notice and all stations are being evacuated.
- This follows major incidents at Liverpool Street and Edgware Road (Hammersmith & City) stations. Emergency services are on site and are working closely with London Underground
At 09.17 there was an explosion on a train coming into Edgware Road underground station approximately 100 yards into the tunnel. The explosion took place on a train and blew through a wall onto another train on an adjoining platform. There were five fatalities and others injured in this incident. Three trains are believed to have been involved.
This information was also given at a press conference by DAC Brian Paddick of the Metropolitan police at 3.30pm:
At 9:17 there was an explosion on a train coming into Edgware Road underground station, which blew a hole through a wall onto another train in an adjoining platform. In fact, it's believed that three trains were involved in that particular incident. And so far, there are five fatalities in that particular incident.
This timeline of an explosion at Edgware Road at 9.17, the third in a sequence starting at 8.49 at Liverpool Street, remained the story for the next two days.
An audio report from outside Edgware Road posted by Guardian correspondent Mark Honigsbaum, tells very graphically the events as retold to him by survivors and witnesses:
This is Mark Honigsbaum reporting from the London.. from the London Hilton Hotel opposite Edgware Road station where we believe there was an explosion this morning under the carriage of a train.
I've been speaking to survivors all morning, people were evacuated first of all to Marks & Spencers beside the underground and then across the road to the London Hilton where there are some people with very, very bad injuries. There was a woman who got cuts and burns to her face and is being wrapped, from head, to neck in... in bandages as... as people with blood, cuts.... but I mean the main thing... the main thing is people are extremely shook up still.
What seems to have happened is that sometime around 9:30 this morning passengers, in a train from Edgware Road travelling to Paddington had just left Edgware Road station when suddenly they felt... they had a massive explosion, and some passengers described how the tiles, the covers, on the floor of the train suddenly flew up, raised up, and the next thing they know there was another almighty crash which they now believe was a train travelling in the opposite direction hitting their train which had been de-railed by this explosion.
The next thing that happened was everything went black, there was thick smoke and one passenger said to me that they heard this terrible, terrible screaming coming from the front of the train. It was a man's voice and he was just saying, "Someone help me, please help me". This young woman, Sarah, 23, said that it was the... one of the most chilling sounds she'd ever heard... now this is unconfirmed at this point but they later heard that this man had had very, very bad injuries to his legs, and while, she and other survivors were being held in Marks & Spencers, they also heard that there may have been one, or possibly two, fatalities. As I say that's unconfirmed at the moment but that's what they were being told.
The woman who as sitting in...the hotel, being bandaged, told how the first thing that happened was that a ... just a massive fireball, she said, came towards her, and, the next thing she know, you know,... she was... she was burnt all over her face and... and the carriage was full of smoke. I haven't been able to get much more from her. Her name is Davinia, she works in Canary Wharf, presumably she was.. she was on her way there, like many Londoners were, this morning when this happened.
Source: Mark Honigsbaum Audio Report
Davinia Turrell has become one of the iconic images of 7/7 that was splashed across newspaper front pages as she holds a burns mask to her face whilst being escorted by Paul Dadge, an ex-firefighter who now works for AOL, to the Hilton Hotel. Perhaps a more suitable destination would have been St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, 6 minutes away by foot or even less in an ambulance or taxi. If she worked in Canary Wharf, as claimed by Mark Honigsbaum, then the train she was on at Edgware Road would have been heading in the opposite direction to that which she required. Newspaper articles subsequently claim that Turrell worked in Paddington. Mark Honigsbaum will later appear to disassociate himself from the claims made in his original audio report that 'the explosion was under the carriage of the train', but more on that later.
Paul Dadge was honoured for these actions by the pro-Israel lobby group, the Anti-Defamation League, at an awards ceremony held in Washington. The ADL were characterised by the well known Jewish linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky who wrote of them in his 1989 book Necessary Illusions:
"The ADL has virtually abandoned its earlier role as a civil rights organization, becoming 'one of the main pillars' of Israeli propaganda in the U.S.…
CNN International were the only channel to report that the police carried out a controlled explosion at Edgware Road station, and as the reporter says, “of course hampering the operation to collect evidence”:
No further references to controlled explosions are contained within reports from the day and have since disappeared down the 'memory hole', although controlled explosions were carried out at other sites, including at the site of the number 30 bus explosion.
Virtually every fact regarding the initial version of events at Edgware Road changes as the story morphs from its original incarnation into what was to become the official story. The first crucial fact to change is the timing of the explosion, which was initially reported by Police and media sources as 9.17. The Managing Director of the London Underground, Tim O'Toole, told a press conference on 9th July 2005 that the following Trackernet images place the time of the explosions at within 50 seconds of each other at around 8.50, and that the explosions had been virtually simultaneous. The quotes accompanying these images are taken from the transcript of the Tim O'Toole press conference:
Tim O'Toole 9th July 2005: “If you would go to the next. This is the Edgware Road site and you can see now we're looking for train 216, which you can see up on your right at the top leaving the station at Baker Street.“
Tim O'Toole 9th July 2005: “All right, now, 216 has made its way down to Edgware Road at the platform.”
Note: With regard to the image below, compare the '6' on the train labelled 216 at Edgware Road with the '6' on train 206 at Baker Street, and there appears to be marked difference between the two sixes. This may suggest that the train at Edgware Road has been re-labelled to fit the story. Also compare the '216' on the train at Edgware Road in the image below with the '216' train shown on Trackernet Image 4 above and, again, there appears to be a marked difference in the clarity of the number '6'.
Tim O'Toole 9th July 2005: And it is undoubtedly the fact that this other train was on -- opposite 216 that caused the reports for people to say that there had been a derailment, that the train had hit the tunnel wall. What they were experiencing was the, really, the blow back, the feedback of the bomb on 216 hitting the train on the other track.”
“Now, if you'll -- now, one thing I want to explain, now 216 has moved forward and right opposite is a train, you'll see, it's 000. That is not the number of that train, but it's a -- it's the limitation of the software. It does not pick up, from that part of the track, the number of that train. But this is the other train that was impacted, that was affected by the explosions and the blast.
The image below has been annotated by J7 to incorporate additional information from the working timetable, according to which Circle Line train 216 would be at the point shown at 08:50. Yet, we know that train 216 was four minutes late leaving King's Cross, so it is very unlikely that train 216 would have made up those four minutes to arrive at this position for 08:50. As none of the Trackernet images were released bearing time stamps it is difficult to know for certain whether this is a true and accurate depiction of the locations of the trains at the time of the incidents.
Note that O'Toole's statement above which refers to a "derailment" and suggests "the reports for people to say that there had been a derailment, that the train had hit the tunnel wall," were mistaken are directly contradicted by the Duty Operations Manager log obtained by a J7 Freedom of Information request, which confirms that two carriages on train 216 were derailed:
10:00 – 16:00
11:15 Sit Rep
Edgware Rd 216 – Leading 2 cars derailed & badly damaged- 5 confirmed dead, many injured. Possible structure damage. Area declared as Scene of Crime.
It is also worth noting Tim O'Toole's reference to “the other train that was impacted, that was affected by the explosions and the blast” as the idea that another train was affected was flatly refused in a response to a J7 Freedom of Information request.
Despite Mr O'Toole claiming that these timings, even though the released images bear no time-stamp, are changed to 8.50 from the original time of the Edgware Road incident at 9.17 because “you can see the orange lines indicate that an event has occurred to trip out the power system”, no orange lines are visible in the 3rd image, which he claimed was the moment of the explosion. Orange lines are however visible on the tracks in the Trackernet image at Liverpool Street/Aldgate though.
“The multiple, simultaneous explosions that took place today on the London transportation system were the work of perpetrators who had an operational capacity of considerable scope.
There was careful planning, intelligence gathering, and a sophisticated choice of timing as well as near-perfect execution. We are faced with a deadly and determined adversary who will stop at nothing and will persevere as long as he exists as a fighting terrorist force.”
Halevi's article also contains this chilling statement:
It does mean that the only way to ensure our safety and security will be to obtain the destruction, the complete destruction, of the enemy.
Halevi, the ex-Mossad chief who happens to be a member of the Clove Club Old Boys Association for former pupils of Hackney Downs School, alongside Lord Levy who has twice been arrested in connection with the Labour Party's cash-for-honours scandal, reaches these startlingly conclusions:
Profound cultural changes will have to come about and the democratic way of life will be hard-pressed to produce solutions that will enable the executive branch to perform its duties and, at the same time, to preserve the basic tenets of our democratic way of life. It will not be easy, but it will be essential not to lose sight of every one of these necessities.
Compare Halevi's analysis and insight into the “near perfect execution” of “multiple, simultaneous, explosions”, an article written and published on 7th July 2005, with the comment by The Guardian correspondent Rosie Cowan in an article for PR Week on 29th September 2005, 7 July: Putting crisis into practice (now hidden behind a paid-for subscription service):
More problems developed when the authorities ran out of answers. Journalists were frustrated by apparent inconsistencies in statements, another fuel for conspiracies. 'I still can't understand why it took them [TfL and the Met] days to tell us that all the Tube bombs went off virtually simultaneously,' says The Guardian crime correspondent Rosie Cowan.
In March 2005, Efraim Halevi had been appointed to the Advisory Board of Quest, a UK based Risk Management & Investigation company. The Chairman of Quest is Sir John Stevens, ex-Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and the first person to claim that the 7/7 attacks were carried out by British citizens in his column for the News of The World on 10th July, 2 days before the first raids were carried out in West Yorkshire, where Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington, who retired as Metropolitan Police Commissioner in January 2005 described the likely suspects as:
"apparently-ordinary British citizens, young men conservatively and cleanly dressed and probably with some higher education. Highly computer literate, they will have used the internet to research explosives, chemicals and electronics," "They are also willing to kill without mercy - and to take a long time in their planning. They are painstaking, cautious, clever and very sophisticated."
Sir John Stevens, 10th July 2005
News Of the World
A similarly strange morphing of events at Edgware Road is that the explosion happens after the train leaves Edgware Road, whereas the Metropolitan Police Service were claiming even a week later that the train was coming into the station and that three trains were affected, the Metropolitan Police have never issued a new or amended statement about these incidents.
Yet a J7 researcher's FOI request to confirm that the explosion blew a hole through the tunnel wall and that 3 trains were affected received this response from Transport for London:
Thank you for your request, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, asking for -
* The number of the Hammersmith & City line train at Edgware Road that sustained damage
* Whether there was a hole blown through a tunnel wall onto a train on an adjoining platform
I can confirm that the train number was 207 and that, at Edgware Road, there are not separate tunnels for trains heading in opposite directions. Therefore, no hole was blown through a tunnel wall.
Why then did the Metropolitan police claim that a hole was blown through a tunnel wall onto a train in the platform at Edgware Road and that three trains were affected by this explosion?
Metronet's own damage assessment of the site doesn't mention any damage to a tunnel wall and strangely none to tracks either, claiming that damage was limited to cabling and power:
Police from the anti-terrorist branch handed back control of Edgware Road to London Underground on Wednesday, 20 July, after the bombed carriage was lifted out by crane the previous night.
Metronet's engineers were already on standby for a rapid response and specialist cleaning contractors ensured the site was safe.
A full assessment revealed damage was confined to cabling carrying signalling information, communications and power. Ultrasonic inspections confirmed the rail was undamaged. The station also needed a deep clean and, in some areas, redecoration.
Some 200 engineers, working round-the-clock shifts, repaired the damage and were able to test and recommission the signalling system on Thursday, once abandoned trains had been removed from the area.
Source: Metronet 29/07/05
A FOI request asking if there had been any casualties or injuries on the train that was passing Circle Line train 216 in the opposite direction received this reply:
No fatalities or injuries were recorded on the Hammersmith & City line train.
Jeff Porter was the driver of train 207 passing Circle Line train 216 as it travelled eastward between Paddington and Edgware Road.
‘I saw a bright yellow light but strangely I didn’t hear any noise of an explosion. But I knew something was wrong and put on the emergency brakes. The windscreen of my cab shattered. I could hear people shouting and I knew I needed to get the 1,000 people on my train to safety. I asked passengers to remain calm and they were remarkably calm considering the circumstances.
No mention or publicity has been given to the driver of Circle Line train 216, it isn't possible to even find out the name of this driver, in exactly the same way that the drivers of two of the other trains that were affected that day remain unnamed. No interviews appear to have been carried out with any of them nor have they received public honours.
Another of the iconic images of July 7th was the bloodied and bandaged face of John Tulloch, an image later co-opted for propaganda purposes by Rupert Murdoch's Sun newspaper.
Tulloch is the director of the Centre for Cultural Risk Research at Charles Sturt University, Australia, and now of the Centre for Media, Globalisation and Risk at Brunel University, and has authored a book ' Risk and Everyday Life' which examines how people respond to, experience and think about risk as part of their everyday lives. Since July 7th he has gone on to write a book 'One Day in July: Experiencing 7/7' in which he includes a 'letter to Mohammed Sidique Khan' whom he now claims to have seen on the train that morning:
On 7 July 2005, you tried to kill me. You personally killed six others in my carriage and your accomplice 'soldiers' killed many more. I recall three images of you. One is only in my memory, because, despite my uncertainty when I gave the police my report of the explosion you caused, I am now fairly certain we looked at each other across the second carriage of that train.
Source: The Observer 4th July 2006
In this extract from his book, he claims the explosion happened at 8.56 and that the 'bomber' was standing in the doorway of the train, contrary to both the official report and Danny Biddle's witness accounts:
But it was still only 8.56 by my watch, so I eased back into the seat because it was too early to get up. That action saved my life because I was now sitting only three feet from the suicide bomber standing in that doorway. Had I been standing, there would have been nothing but air between me and the bomb. And three seconds later, it happened.
The working time table for train 216, released under a FOI request to TfL, shows the following times:
KXSP 0838 Edgware Road 0849 Praed Street Junction 0850
Yet we know from a FOI request that train 216 must have been running at least 4 minutes late as it didn't leave Kings Cross until 8.42:
the Westbound Circle line train (216) left King's Cross at 08:42
According to TfL, the journey time from Kings Cross to Edgware Road is between 9 and 11 minutes, which would place train 216 at Edgware Road at sometime between 8.51 and 8.53. It's difficult to see how a train could make up a full 4 minutes, so perhaps John Tulloch's recollection of 8.56 as the time of the explosion is nearer the truth. Why such articulate survivors as John Tulloch do not appear to question the official version of events, based on his recollection of the time of the explosion and the position of the 'bomber', is strange to say the least. To our knowledge, none of the survivors or passengers on any of the trains appears to have publicly questioned the Official Report. Only Philip Russell's father, Graham, felt able to quite rightly state after John Reid announced that the Luton train time was erroneous, that this error “raised concerns about the accuracy of the rest of the report.”
Perhaps they are pinning their hopes on an Independent Public Inquiry to answer all the outstanding questions and bring these anomalies and inconsistencies to light, yet the calls for a public inquiry, including from high profile eye-witnesses, repeatedly fail to address many of the anomalies and inconsistencies in the report on the basis that, "we know what happened."
Danny Biddle is the only survivor and eye-witness to claim that he actually saw Mohammed Sidique Khan implying that he saw Khan detonate a bomb. In fact, what he claims to have seen is someone he believes to be Khan reaching into something that Biddle describes as a 'main bag'. In the only image ever released purporting to show the four men accused of perpetrating the attacks, taken from outside Luton station 30 miles from the scenes of the crimes, there is no evidence of Khan or any of the men carrying anything that could be 'described' as a "main bag" in addition to their rucksacks. If Khan was carrying a 'main bag' then that raises further questions about where en route from Luton to London he obtained such an item.
Unfortunately Mr Biddle, who survived with appalling injuries, has made a number of varying claims about his alleged sighting of Khan and it is difficult to know if any of his accounts are a true recollection of what happened. Further, the severity of the injuries he received and the severe trauma that he experienced are factors that are generally recognised and widely accepted to have a direct impact on a person's ability to accurately remember, recall and recount details of a incident.
"He was sitting by the first door of the train and I was standing about 10ft away. I noticed him reaching into his bag and he didn't say or do anything. He wasn't agitated or fidgety, he was very calm. He looked at me and looked around the carriage. Then he pulled some sort of cord."
"That morning I got on the front of the train, which was closest to the stairs, and stood next to the bomber, Mohammad Sidique Khan. I looked at him, as you do. He seemed quite calm. Nothing, in retrospect, made me think: "This guy's got a bomb." He looked at me, and as he did so he put his hand inside his rucksack, looked at me again, looked away, and pulled back his hand. With that there was a crackly noise like when you tune in a radio, and the train seemed to expand and contract very quickly."
It was crowded and he found himself in the front, wedged in among the other commuters. Among them was Mohammad Siddique Khan, who had a rucksack on his back. Khan appeared calm, according to Danny. 'We looked at each other, as you do. He put his hand inside the rucksack. Then he looked away and he pulled back his hand.'
He was leaning against the perspex screen by the double doors - standing, as always, and people-watching. “I looked around. This Asian guy got on and walked down the carriage. He sat down just past me on the other side of the screen.” He was “sitting with a rucksack over his shoulders and a main bag in his lap over his chest”. Danny watched him look at his wrists several times - as if checking the time. “When he first put his hand in the bag my first thought was medication, or he’s getting something to eat, or he’s a diabetic, whatever. As the train pulled out of Edgware Road station, he put his hand back in the bag, lifted his head and looked up and then there was light like a thousand camera flashes going off. And, when I think about it, where he sat down was where there was the biggest congregation of people.”
"I started to text a colleague, and realised I had missed my usual station. As we pulled into Edgware Road, I looked around me. There was a middle-aged man wearing glasses with lots of paperwork around him, and a youngish-looking Asian guy sitting on the empty seat next to me.
"As the train pulled away he looked past me, put his hand in his bag and there was a big white flash. It felt as if someone had filled the carriage with air
In this video clip Danny describes seeing a 'young-looking Asian guy', although Danny is only 26 and Khan was 30 at the time.
One of the major concerns with Danny Biddle's recollections about whether or not he saw Mohammad Sidique Khan on his train is that, after being unconscious for 5 weeks, and having received significant injuries to his head in the incident, the association between Khan and what happened on the train was planted by television news stories. Danny Biddle describes this moment after waking in hospital as follows:
I was on the ward and woke up at 4am. I don't sleep well because of flashbacks and nightmares. I put the TV on and BBC news were playing the video Al Jazeera had shown of Khan. I didn't have the sound on and kept thinking, "I'm sure I know him from somewhere."
'Then the words flashed up: "Edgware Road bomber". It just clicked in my mind that we'd looked at each other on the train. I just punched out at the TV I couldn't believe it.
Danny Biddle's testimony is directly contradicted by the public statements of both Andy Hayman and Sir Ian Blair of the Metropolitan Police who both claimed that the bombs were on the floor of the carriages when they detonated.
Another aspect of Danny Biddle's accounts of that day also parallels some of the facts known about the journeys of some of the other victims and survivors of the Edgware Rd incident that require further investigation, not least, whether Danny Biddle actually received these injuries on Circle Line train 216.
Danny Biddle's journey to work that day from Essex to Wembley Park places him at Liverpool Street. He states in various reports that he got on the Circle Line at Liverpool Street, which is an odd choice because a Metropolitan Line train would have taken him directly to Wembley Park. Biddle claims he was planning to change onto the Jubilee Line at Baker Street, one stop before Edgware Road, but missed his stop. He then decided to change at Edgware Road onto the Bakerloo Line. Although the MPS claim the explosion happened before the train reached Edgware Road, the official account is that this train was 100 yards into the tunnel past Edgware Road station. So if Biddle had already missed his stop at Baker Street why didn't he get off the train at Edgware Road?
The bus I was on got stuck in traffic so by the time I got on the Tube I drafted a text on my phone to a workmate to say I would be late. When I finished it, I realised I had missed my stop.
'I ended up going on to the next station where I could get the Bakerloo line - and that was Edgware Road.'
Source: Daily Mail 29th June 2006
Recall Mark Honigsbaum's account of Davinia Turrell, the lady in the mask? She was reported as travelling to work in Canary Wharf, which is in precisely the opposite direction to the direction of the train the official Home Office version of events cites as being affected. In a very cut down version of Mark Honigsbaum's audio report, this extract made it into print:
The woman had been near the front of the train, possibly in the carriage where the bomb was placed. Another woman who spoke to her gleaned that Davinia had been on her way to Canary Wharf and could only remember a fireball coming towards her and then felt as if she had hit a wall.
One young victim, David Foulkes, was about to start his first days work with the Guardian newspaper and was travelling on the tube from Euston to Edgware Road where he was due to meet a colleague. He is also reported to have died in the incident on a train that had passed Edgware Road, the station at which he should have got off the train, on its way to Paddington.
Jenny Nicholson, another young victim, who lived in Reading and was last heard of from Paddington Station a couple of minutes before the blast and would not have been travelling on a train that was heading towards Paddington either. A point made by the Camden New Journal:
• JENNY Nicholson, an advertising executive working in Tottenham Court Road, was confirmed dead yesterday (Wednesday).
Miss Nicholson, 24, was killed in the Edgware Road suicide blast on Thursday.
Her tube carriage was going in the opposite direction to the train in which the bomber was travelling.
Source: Camden New Journal
TfL have already confirmed that there were no injuries or fatalities on the train passing in the opposite direction to Circle Line train 216.
In the absence of a fully Independent Public Inquiry, answers to these questions are unlikely to be received, but could these people have been injured or killed on the platform at Edgware Road station rather than on the train, as indicated in David Minahan's comprehensive dossier published on the J7 Truth Campaign web site? This witness account on the BBC web site appears to claim that there was explosion on the platform:
I was in Edgware Road train station, waiting for my friend. There was a big explosion. I was lucky to escape from that blast. I became faint and a police officer woke me up by putting water on my face. When I woke up I saw a very deadly scene which I will never forget in my life. The platform was full of blood, people were screaming and shouting to get off the platform.
Another course of inquiry is that perhaps in the confusion of the day, when unnamed and yet unidentified victims were taken to the Resilience Mortuary, which was constructed in the grounds of the Honourable Artillery Company and where all the bodies of the victims were received over 36 hours later, the details of where they died were lost? Especially as it is unclear why the victims bodies were kept in two hotels, hardly secure or suitable locations, rather than public or hospital mortuaries, prior to the construction of the Resilience Mortuary.
Two mortuaries are being set up - these are at the Royal National Hotel and the Holiday Inn in Bloomsbury.
Source: Metropolitan Police Service
Rather than being used as temporary mortuaries, these two hotels were used as 'body holding areas' as outlined in the Responding to Emergencies document:
Responding to Emergencies
Draft Guidance on response to and recovery from emergencies:
5.35 Human remains may be taken first to a location designated as a body holding area. This should be under cover and protected from the public view for reasons of security, protection and sensitivity. A bodyholding area should only be regarded as a temporary holding point between the site of retrieval and the designated mortuary.
5.36 The usual practice is for bodies to be taken to a temporary mortuary for post-mortems to be carried out. It is the responsibility of the coroner’s office to make arrangements for the transfer of bodies to the mortuary. This is co-ordinated by the police acting on behalf of the coroner’s office, using vehicles belonging to undertakers or police, although military transport may also be used for this task. It is essential to establish documented continuity in respect of each aspect of the recovery and transportation process.
Guidance for setting up the Body Holding Area, which should be inside the cordon which is set up around the scene, in this case the site of the bus and Russell Square, from the UK Resilience website:
3.15 To ensure appropriate quality control measures it will be necessary to establish a disaster victim or body holding area close to the scene. Experience has shown that it is best located near to the cordon control point ideally straddling the inner cordon line. Inflatable structures have been used with success in the past.
3.16 A disaster victim holding area must not be confused with a temporary mortuary. The body holding area is a secure, private location where victims and human remains that have been recovered from the site can be temporarily held prior to transfer to a mortuary – temporary or otherwise. The disaster victim holding area acts as a quality control point for victim labels and other accompanying documentation. Identification of victims will not take place in the holding area.
3.17 The disaster victim holding area will be staffed by a police documentation officer with other appropriate support appointed by the scene evidence recovery manager. The staff in this area will maintain a written log of all victims and remains recovered from the site ensuring that these are placed in a suitable order for transfer to the mortuary. All movements will be carefully recorded to maintain an audit trail for the whole process.
3.18 Prolonged storage of victims is not appropriate at a disaster victim holding area and appropriate arrangements must be made to ensure minimal delay in transmission to the mortuary. It will be important to ensure that this facility is located with due sensitivity to privacy, for example whether it can be viewed from any media vantage points.
So it would appear that these two hotels which were inside the cordoned off area were designated as the Body Holding Areas. There has been no official report published which examined this procedure or indicates how these two hotels as sites for the body holding area were chosen. No mention is made of how the bodies were transported or who transported them to these hotels nor the method of identifying where the bodies were brought from. These guidelines, as part of the Mass Fatality Plan, were only issued to responders days before July 7th:
The London Mass Fatality Plan had been prepared over a number of years under the aegis of a multi-agency planning group which included representatives of all the key relevant agencies. It was approved by the Forum in March 2005 and formally circulated to all stakeholders at the end of June,just days before the bombings.
The only newspaper that appears to have covered this aspect of the day is the local Camden Newspaper, the Camden New Journal:
EMERGENCY teams are facing the traumatic task of counting and identifying the dead in the makeshift base of a King’s Cross hotel tonight (Thursday) following the bomb blasts which ripped through three underground stations (Liverpool Street Station, Edgware Road Tube Station and King's Cross Station) and obliterated a double-decker bus in Tavistock Square.
While charred bodies are taken to the Holiday Inn in Euston Road, scarred survivors who limped free from the carnage are being treated in hospitals across the capital.
Source Camden New Journal
The issue of the body holding areas is not examined or addressed by any of the official reports, not even those reports that concentrate on the Mass Fatalities Plan.
SECTION 3 – KEY LESSONS
• The London Mass Fatality Plan had only just been circulated when the bombings took place and many at the Gold Co-ordinating Group and among local responders were unaware of the Plan. There is a strong need for wider dissemination of the Plan and for middle management in key organisations such as the police and local authorities to be aware of it
• The three coroners involved worked very closely and successfully together, despite the fact that there was no protocol to establish a lead coroner in a multi-site incident, or for coroners to work together, or for agreement on the location of a mortuary. Such procedures would be helpful and could avoid confusion in a future multi-sited emergency.
• A need was identified for training and exercising of the Plan, particularly for the three police forces involved, Disaster Victim Identication and the local authorities.
• Radiological equipment had to be borrowed for the mortuary by the Association of Forensic Radiographers. There was a need for pre-allocation of radiological equipment.
• The Plan relied on military sites for a (demountable) ‘Resilience Mortuary’. There was a need to broaden the range of pre-identified and surveyed sites to include civilian sites such as Royal Parks and local authority sites.
Source: Lessons Learned [PDF]
7th July Resilience Mortuary set-up in the
The reason the mortuary was eventually set up in the grounds of the Honourable Artillery Company, in the City of London, according to the GLA was because:
'This venue – a private company - was identified only after the originally intended location, (Chelsea Barracks), had been found to be unsuitable because it was a military base which might have been needed in the event of a need for a military contribution to the response'.
We know from the GLA Review Committee report that records were not kept by the LAS or the Fire Brigade and that it was not possible to ascertain which emergency crews entered which carriages and at what time. We also know that despite victims giving their names, these were lost in the confusion. Kathy, a survivor from Edgware Road, gave this testimony to the GLA:
When Kathy was taken from the bombed carriage at Edgware Road, she gave her name to a London Underground engineer, who called her husband from a payphone at the station to tell him that she had been injured, and which hospital she was likely to be sent to. In giving her name, Kathy spelt it clearly as it is an unusual surname. By the time Kathy arrived at hospital, she was finding it difficult to speak because she had a collapsed lung. Kathy’s husband arrived at the hospital and began to look for his wife’s name. He could not find it, because her name had been lost somewhere between the station and the hospital. As a result, Kathy’s husband waited for around two hours before finally recognising a name on a list that bore a slight resemblance to theirs. Kathy said, ‘It was very frustrating for my husband and for me that there was this long delay when I was in the same building just a few floors above but he couldn’t track me down because of this problem of losing my name. The engineer had gone to quite a lot of trouble to try to find what my name was, and I had tried very hard to get the spelling across’.
Source: GLA Final Report
Identification of all the victims was not completed until July 19th. This was an excruciatingly long time to wait for many of the families and loved ones of the victims and for which no explanation has been forthcoming:
Several articles in Spanish newspapers have expressed shock at the time it has taken for information on the number and names of the dead to come out. Twenty-four hours after the train bombings in Madrid last year, Spaniards knew that at least 190 people had died. And by then most of the bodies had also been identified. Most were buried within three days of the attacks.
Source: The Guardian, 12th July 2005
These facts would emerge if the inquests are ever held but according to reports this has been delayed again, despite a date being originally set for June 2007.
Meanwhile, victims' families have accused the Government of a "lack of care" after it emerged inquests will be delayed indefinitely owing to the State giving precedence to a trial of alleged bombing accomplices.
According to The Independent:
Full inquests for the bomb victims are not expected to be heard until next year at the earliest and may never take place. A crown court trial where the jury hears detailed evidence about a crime involving fatalities takes precedence over a coroner's court.
The notion that the inquests may never take place is beyond comprehension. A crown court trial would have no requirement to establish the correct details of the events that occurred, nor the exact locations where each victim died, or how they died, only an Inquest would do this. If these questions were examined and it was discovered that errors were made then of course it would also call into question whether the four men accused of these crimes were actually recovered from each of the sites, an explanation for how the property of one of these men was found at three of the blast sites, and could also explain the huge number of discrepancies in the journeys of many of the casualties that exist, not just at Edgware Road.
There is also the very strange case of the American girls, Katie and Emily Benton, site-seeing in London that morning and who were, according to early reports, intending to visit the Tower of London, again, the opposite direction to Paddington. The extent to which the authorities went to in order to remove them to a secure hospital in the US is quite incredible:
Scotland Yard had to interview the sisters before they left because they were victims of a terrorist attack, and all of their passports and travels papers had been lost in the blast. Duke quickly formed a task force and made numerous phone calls to work out complex details with government agencies in the U.S. and London. Securing an air transport service willing to fly two patients instead of one and the mother on the same plane also posed a challenge. Through the help of the U.S. Embassy in London, Duke contracted with a service in France with Duke leaders guaranteeing the $155,000 transport cost.
The plane, which left London on Sun., July 10, was required to land in Montreal. The three were transferred to another plane with a different crew due to security concerns before flying on to Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Duke Life Flight sent two ground transport crews to transport them, and the rest of their family who met them at the airport, to Duke.
“This was one of the most complex transports I’ve seen in the 15 years I’ve been involved in this type of work,” said Jeff Doucette, associate operating officer for Emergency Services at Duke University Hospital (DUH). “It was extremely rewarding to see the team at work in the Transfer Center and Life Flight Communications. Nobody relaxed until the job was done. A solid 36 hours was spent on working out the details.”
Source: Inside Duke
After these extraordinary efforts to transfer the Benton sisters to the US, they were then given high-security protection in hospital and one of the first visitors allowed to speak to them was Peter Zimonjic, a Telegraph journalist and passenger on one of the trains at Edgware Road who subsequently set up a survivors forum called LondonRecovers of which Peter Zimonjic is the gatekeeper:
..... there is a security net around the patients that includes the FBI and Office for Homeland Security.
Upon my arrival I was escorted by police from the hospital to my hotel and warned that should I choose to return to the hospital without an escort I would find myself arrested.
This description given by Emily is of being electrocuted, an experience shared by many survivors of these blasts, and of more than one explosion:
We were only on the train for just half a minute. It wasn't -- we had just sat down. The train had just taken off. We didn't have time to look around at what other people looked like or who was on there or anything. And then the explosions went off.
I felt like I went into, like, the fetal position and just, like, crouched down and I felt like I was being electrocuted. And I felt like I was on fire and I was burning. I could feel my skin like, peeling off. Everything had just been, you know, ripped. The windows had been blown out. You know, the chairs, some of the chairs, the seats had been, you know -- come off. And there were poles and debris everywhere.
A similar description of hearing more than one explosion was given by John to the GLA Review Committee:
After the train left Edgware station, there was a massive bang followed by two smaller bangs and then an orange fireball.
Source: Transcript of Committee meeting, 23 March 2006, Volume 3, page 4
Another very vivid description, posted on the day of 7/7, recounts 'a series of explosions as if tube electric motor after motor exploding' from a blogger named Justin:
I boarded the train at King's Cross after a series of line closures forced me onto a Circle Line train; little did I know at the time that this was probably the worst thing I could have done.
Travelling just past Edgware Road Station the train entered a tunnel. We shook like any usual tube train as it rattled down the tracks. It was then I heard a loud bang.
The train left the tracks and started to rumble down the tunnel. It was incapable of stopping and just rolled on. A series of explosions followed as if tube electric motor after motor was exploding. Each explosion shook the train in the air and seems to make it land at a lower point.
I fell to the ground like most people, scrunched up in a ball in minimize injury. At this point I wondered if the train would ever stop, I thought "please make it stop", but it kept going. In the end I just wished that it didn't hit something and crush. It didn't.
When the train came to a standstill people were screaming, but mainly due to panic as the carriage was rapidly filling with smoke and the smell of burning motors was giving clear clues of fire.
As little as 5 seconds later we were unable to see and had all hit the ground for the precious air that remaining. We were all literally choking to death.
The carriage however was pretty sealed; no window could open, no door would slide and no hammers seemed to exist to grant exit. If there were instructions on how to act then they were impossible to see in the thick acrid black smoke.
In the end I opted to do something about the problem and began shouting to find out in which direction the fires were emanating from. I then tested with the inter-carriage door to see if venting the smoke caused fire to spread. It didn't so I held the door open trying to clear the carriage and look for escape routes.
The train was packed and so there was no escape to the other carriages. Through the gap between the carriages however I saw an escape route and it calmed me from panic; if things got bad I could see an exit along the tunnel wall.
The fire concerned me and the acrid smoke never seems to fully dissipate. I calmed passengers playing down the issue as a bad tube network and a network derailment. Naturally people were in a mixture of states from quiet to abject panic in all its colours......
.... Eventually I made it to the end of the train and dismounted down the wooden ladder, something curiously I've done before. We walked down the tunnel back to Edgware Road and fresh air, finally being able to breathe properly.
I called my love ones and told them what had happened; the news hadn't broken. I was lead out of the station and expected to see emergency services. There were none; things were so bad that they couldn't make it.
The victims were being triaged at the station entrance by Tube staff and as I could see little more I could do so I got out of the way and left.
The question of whether these were actually the effects of power surges is discussed in this section of the Liverpool Street/Aldgate page along with the private companies involved in 30 year Private Public Partnership contracts to run the London Underground.
Eye-witness accounts on the BBC web site also call into question whether there was just one carriage affected by the blast and whether a person could have been thrown by the blast from the second carriage of Circle Line train 216:
I was in the carriage that blew up in the Edgware Road incident, I don't want to describe the memories I have of when I lifted my head up off the floor, but I would like to thank the lady who came from the first carriage who, what seemed to be like my guardian angel just appeared in the doorway of the adjoining carriage. She came straight to me and helped lift the doors that were on top of me then helped me up, took my hand and walked me through the first carriage where the manholes in the carriage were blown out, she and another man, a South African or Australian person, whom I thanked when i was about to get into the ambulance. They both walked me down the side of the track back towards Edgware Road, we sat down on the side of the track and i asked her if she was just a passenger or someone else, she said she was a passenger.
I boarded the tube train leaving Edgware Road heading for Paddington at about 8.50am. Approximately a minute later there was a loud explosion, darkness, smoke, dust and glass everywhere. Everything went quiet for about 10-20 seconds. Then the screaming started. It was so dark you couldn't see 2 inches in front of you. The window behind me had exploded in, part of the ceiling was on the floor and there was a large hole in the floor. When the tunnel lights came on you could see people with blood on their faces, but everyone was calm and started helping the injured. We broke through into the next carriage where it was even worse. There was a lady on the floor and someone was giving her mouth to mouth, but she had stopped breathing, and another gentleman with a large gash across his leg was screaming for help. We helped where we could.
The passengers in the unaffected tube travelling in the opposite direction passed bottles of water across through the doors they had forced open. About 20 minutes later the message came through that those who could walk should move to the front of the train and disembark and walk down the track. As we could do no more for the injured, we disembarked and started to walk down the dark track, but after a short distance we were stopped and told that a person had been blown out of the train against the tunnel wall and could not be moved as he was critical. Approximately a further 15 minutes passed before the metro staff appeared with a small ladder and led us back onto the train, through the carriages and out of the end of the train towards the station. Once out of the tunnel we were given water and led to Marks and Spencer's where we were checked by medics and police took statements. My thanks to the metro staff, medics, police, Marks and Spencer's staff and all involved in the rescue. They were exceptional. The calmness, courage and fortitude of my fellow passengers restored my faith in my fellow man.
How could a person be lying on the track in front of the train rather than some distance behind the second carriage? Similar anomalies exist of bodies on tracks at Aldgate and Kings Cross/Russell Square. Also, what is the explanation for the damage to the carriage floor in the carriage that Chris Stones travelled on?
According to information received from Clive Feather of Davros two carriages were damaged on the Edgware Road train:
The damaged vehicles of the Edgware Road train were 5505 and 6505 (the latter was the one lifted out by crane).
Other accounts recall explosions on the floor of a train travelling from Paddington to Edgware Road, another important aspect of the story that requires further examination but which has yet to be raised anywhere by the media, not even by the media that reported these accounts:
I was in the last carriage of the Circle Line train that had just left Paddington. The tube had just left when there was a sudden explosion and the square marked area in the centre of the tube exploded. By this time I had fallen down. There was black smoke everywhere and a very strong smell as if the wiring in the carriage was burning. The awful part was when we had to wait for at least 30 minutes before being evacuated. I knew that a bomb had exploded and the worst part for me during the next 30 minutes was the wait. After a painful 30 minutes we were told to walk up to the front carriage and down the tunnel. As I walked I began crying because I could not bear to see the state of the front 3 carriages. There was smashed glass everywhere, the carriage had almost melted. Everyone around me began crying. I must say that the people in my carriage were very calm and patient. We all comforted each other and there was no pushing or running around instead everyone quietly and calmly walked out onto the black tunnel before walking to the platform at Edgware Road.
"I was on the train going from Bayswater station sitting in the first compartment of the train and after passing Paddington station at about 08:50 there was a huge blast just at the side of my feet and part of the floor was ripped open."
After the astonishing statement to Parliament on 11th July 2006 acknowledging that the Home Office report was erroneous in stating that the 4 men caught the 7.40 Luton train, a train which was in fact cancelled that morning, survivors from Edgware Road questioned the accuracy of the Home Office's version of events at Edgware Road and received the following reply from the Home Secretary John Reid on 24th August 2006:
Those who attended the Edgware Road meeting believed that there was a possibility of a second error in the Official Account. They said that Mohammed Sidique Khan was by the second set of double doors in the tube carriage at the time of the attack, whereas the Official Account states that Khan was ''most likely near the standing area by the first set of double doors.''
My officials have made enquiries of the Metropolitan Police. The police have confirmed that the wording of the Official Account accurately reflects their initial conclusions following statements they took from witnesses and their early examination of the scene. This shows that the bomb probably exploded near to the first set of doors. But where exactly the bomb exploded has yet to be established. The police are currently awaiting the final report from the Forensic Explosives Laboratory. This will be vital in determining the precise location of the bomb at the time of its detonation.
The wording in the Official Account therefore accurately reflects the police's understanding of the initial examination of the scene. The preface of the Official Account makes it clear that ''the evidence is not yet the full picture'' because it was known at the time of writing that more evidence might emerge from the ongoing police investigation. To date, none of the forensic evidence suggests that the Official Account is incorrect in stating where Khan was ''most likely'' to have been located prior to the explosion. Should the police revise their initial conclusions in the light of further information, an update will be issued.
Source: Rachel "North"
It is unbelievable and unacceptable that over a year after these attacks, and after the publication of the Official Report, forensics had not established the precise location of the explosions and survivors are having to tell the Government that the Home Office report is plainly wrong. In another similar example, eye-witness Rachel "North" had to inform the authorities that they had made an error in the position of the blast on the Piccadilly Line when they stated initially that the explosion was by the first set of double doors, claiming that that was where she was standing and that she had no idea that a bomb had exploded in her carriage.
When I started hearing the bomb was in my carriage, I flipped. I started pacing about
I phoned the BBC to ask them where they got this information from, then I phoned the anti-terrorist hotline and gave a more detailed witness statement.
The July 7th Truth Campaign have submitted the following FOI request to the Home Office in response to Dr John Reid's letter:
At the end of August 2006, after having already acknowledged one major error in the Home Office account of the events, John Reid was forced to write to those directly affected by the events of 7/7 acknowledging another equally egregious error.
Could you please provide the following information:
1. Has the final report from the Forensic Explosives Laboratory been completed
2. If it has, have any of the precise locations of the bombs at the time of detonation been revised
3. Will this report be available to the public
4. If it will not be available to the public, will information from this report be available to the public
5. If it will be available to the public, where can we access a copy
6. If this information will not be available to the public, can we ask on what grounds
July 7th Truth Campaign
*** Update 28th June 2007 ***
In response to our Freedom of Infomation request, the Home Office replied:
Thank you for your e-mail of 22 May 2007 regarding your questions about the work completed by the Forensic Explosives Laboratory.
I would like to begin by first apologising for the time it has taken to respond to your request.
However, I am sorry to inform you that the information you have requested is being withheld under section 22 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act. This information will be put into the public domain following the upcoming trial of 3 defendants charged as a result of the continuing police investigation into 7/7 and it would therefore not be in the public interest to ask the Forensic Explosives Laboratory to disclose it before the conclusion of this.
The upcoming trial of the 3 defendants would not in any way, shape or form be compromised by the Home Office releasing the forensics information on where the explosions actually occurred on the trains and bus on the 7th July 2005, as a version of this information has already been placed in the public domain. Mohammed Shakil, Sadeer Saleem, and Waheed Ali were originally charged with conspiracy only up until 29 June 2005, nine days before the events of 7/7, and the day after the alleged 'dummy run' in which three of the 7/7 accused travelled from Luton to London, a trip from which the only moving CCTV footage in connection with 7/7 has been released.
The charge alleges they conspired with the four men who detonated their devices on the morning of 7 July - Mohammed Siddique Khan, Shezhad Tanweer, Jermaine Lindsay and Hasib Hussein (sic).
It states that between 1 November 2004 and 29 June 2005, they "unlawfully and maliciously" conspired with the four men to cause "by explosive substance, explosions on the Transport for London system and/or tourist attractions in London of a nature likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property".
The alleged offence is contrary to Section 3(1) (a) of the Explosive Substances Act 1883.
Undaunted by the continuous delays and refusals to answer FOI requests, J7 responded:
We see no possibility of the upcoming court case being compromised by answering the following point from our original FOI request:
2. If it has, have any of the precise locations of the bombs at the time of detonation been revised
This is an important matter of public concern and public interest, especially to survivors and those bereaved as a result of the incident at Edgware Road.
In his article for the Guardian, 'Seeing Isn't Believing', Honigsbaum interviews two members of the July 7th Truth Campaign. His initial approach to the campaign asking for an interview was: “I'm considering writing a piece taking a hard, cold look at the unanswered questions surrounding 7/7”. The published article has been described as being less of a "hard, cold look at the unanswered questions surrounding 7/7" and more of a characterisation of J7 -- and, by extension anyone with entirely legitimate questions about the events of 7/7 -- in a negative light as 'conspiracy theorists'.
Whether this is true or not, we are still extremely grateful to Mark for his achievement in getting some of the anomalies and inconsistencies in the official Home Office report into a national newspaper, especially when no other dissenting voices are granted such a platform. In the article he has this to say of his original audio report:
I asked passengers what they had seen and experienced and was told by two survivors from the bombed train that, at the moment of the blast, the covers on the floor of their carriage had flown up - the phrase they used was "raised up". There was no time to check their statements as moments later the police widened the cordon and I was directed to the opposite pavement, outside the Metropole hotel.
Moments later, Davinia Turrell, the famous "woman in the mask", emerged from M&S together with other injured passengers and I followed them into the hotel. It was from there that at around 11am I phoned a hurried, and what I now know to be flawed, audio report to the Guardian. In the report, broadcast on our website, I said that it "was believed" there had been an explosion "under the carriage of the train". I also said that "some passengers described how the tiles, the covers on the floors of the train, flew up, raised up".
It later became clear from interviewing other passengers who had been closer to the seat of the explosion that the bomb had actually detonated inside the train, not under it, but my comments, disseminated over the internet where they could be replayed ad nauseam, were already taking on a life of their own.
Despite these efforts to distance himself from his original audio report from the scene at the time, these eye-witness testimonies still stand as individual experiences of the events on that train. J7 were given the opportunity to respond to Mark Honigsbaum's Seeing Isn't Believing article and the response can be read on the Guardian's Comment is Free site.
The GLA Review Committee in its final report found that the Metropolitan Police Service failed to declare a major incident at Edgware Road until 9.32 am, some 40 minutes after the official alleged time of the explosion and 20 minutes after their arrival at Edgware Road station. Why was there such a delay? The review committee are given no explanation:
It took longer at Edgware Road than at Aldgate for the emergency services to establish and communicate to each other that there had been an explosion. It is not clear to us why this should be the case, given that the train stopped only 50 yards into the tunnel, and London Underground workers alerted their Network Control Centre to the incident within minutes. The Network Control Centre called the emergency services to the scene at 8.59 am, but the first Fire Engine did not arrive until 9.18 am, 19 minutes later, and the Metropolitan Police did not declare a major incident until 9.32 am, followed two minutes later by a declaration of a major incident by the London Fire Brigade.
The committee also found that a major incident had still not been declared at Edgware Road by the time of the first conference call between the emergency services which was held at 9.25 am. Could the original time of 9.17 given by the MPS as the time of the explosion at Edgware Road been a cover-up for this delay in declaring a major incident? If so, what is the explanation for this delay? Another finding was that records failed to be kept of actual response times by the emergency services to the affected train carriages themselves. One survivor describes waiting an hour before anyone arriving to help and another of waiting 3 hours on a carriage before being rescued:
3.36 The response at the other scenes was less decisive. At Edgware Road, the scene was not cleared until approximately 12 noon, three hours after that explosion. We interviewed Kathy, a survivor of the Edgware Road bomb who was among the last survivors to be taken from the carriage. She told us that she was kept on the train for an extra 45 minutes because of a lack of ambulances being available to take her to hospital. She remained in the carriage for three hours after the explosion, her condition deteriorating all the time. John, who was himself injured but remained in the bombed carriage with seriously injured people, trying to help and comfort them and waiting for help to arrive, told us that he waited for an hour before anyone arrived to help.
3.37 Unfortunately, it is not possible to examine in detail the London Ambulance Service’s response to the Edgware Road explosion over the course of the morning, because records of the response were not maintained. The timeline provided to us by the London Ambulance Service contains no entries beyond 9.21 am, when it was recorded that an ambulance crew stated they were running out of equipment and requested an equipment vehicle. This failure to maintain records is not unique to the Ambulance Service; the London Fire Brigade has also commented in its debrief report on the failure to record information about its response and the need to do so in future.
3.38 The failure to maintain records of the response extends also to records of the times of arrival of the emergency services at the affected carriages of the bombed trains. A number of survivors from Edgware Road and Aldgate told us that they saw emergency services personnel outside the stations soon after the explosions, apparently having been instructed not to enter the affected tunnels. We have received no explanation as to why this might have been the case, and the absence of records showing the times of arrival of the emergency services in the affected carriages means that we cannot investigate the anecdotal accounts we have heard.
Who gave the emergency services the instruction not to enter the affected tunnels? Yet another question that must be asked and answered by a truly independent public inquiry outside of the Inquiries Act 2005. A major incident had been called at Liverpool Street/Aldgate as early as 9.08 by the BTP and 9.10 by the City of London police so there seems to be an inexplicable delay in declaring Edgware Road a major incident if the blasts were indeed simultaneous.
Only one image appears in the public domain of a train carriage at Edgware Road and was released via the ABC News network and not the MPS or the BBC:
On the 12th July the MPS released the following information:
By Tuesday, the investigation had led the MPS to have concerns about the movements and activities of four men, three of whom came from the West Yorkshire area. We are trying to establish their movements in the run up to last week's attacks, and specifically to establish if they all died in the explosions. Three of the search warrants were executed at home addresses of these three men.
CCTV footage showed the four men, each carrying a rucksack, at King's Cross station shortly before 08.30 on the morning of July 7. One of the men who set out from West Yorkshire was reported missing by his family to the Casualty Bureau shortly after 22.00 on July 7. We have established that he was joined on his journey to London by three other men.
Personal documents bearing the names of three of those four men have been found, close to the seats of three of the explosions:
Property belonging to the man reported missing was found on the Route 30 bus in Tavistock Square.
Property in the name of a second man was found at the scene of the Aldgate bomb. Property in the name of a third man was found at the scene of both the Aldgate and the Edgware Road bombs.
We have very strong forensic and other evidence that one of the men died in the explosion at Aldgate. This is subject to formal confirmation by the Coroner.
On the 14th July 2005, one week after the event and at an easily accessible site where the fewest victims perished, the Metropolitan Police claim that there is no forensic evidence placing Khan at the Edgware Road scene, despite his property being found there.
In relation to the third man who travelled from West Yorkshire, the position remains that property in his name was found at the scene of both the Aldgate and the Edgware Road attacks, but we have not yet been able to gather forensic evidence to confirm that he died in any of the explosions.
Source: MPS Press Statement 14/7/05
After continued forensic work we now believe we have identified the four men who travelled from Luton and were later seen on CCTV at King's Cross shortly before 8:30am on Thursday 7th July.
We can now confirm the identity of a third man who travelled from West Yorkshire and who died in the explosion at Edgware Road. He was Mohammed Sidique Khan, aged 30. We believe that he was responsible for carrying out that attack.
These are just some of the questions from Edgware Road that any legitimate and truly independent public inquiry, one held outside of the Inquiries Act 2005, should address. There are of course many more:
Why was the original time of the explosion at Edgware Road given as 9.17, a full 27 minutes after what we are later told were 3 simultaneous explosions within 50 seconds of each other at 8.50.
Why do the MPS claim that the explosion at Edgware Road blasted through a tunnel wall, yet TfL and Metronet claim no damage was done to a tunnel wall and that no wall exists between the trains in the tunnel between Edgware Road and Paddington
Why did the MPS claim the train was just coming into Edgware Road station rather than leaving this station
How were three trains identified as being damaged in this explosion
How did survivors on a train travelling eastbound between Paddington and Edgware Road experience explosions from under the floor of their carriage?
Can the many and varied accounts given by Danny Biddle of sighting Khan 'putting his hand into a bag' which he claims was on Khan's lap be trusted
Why does Dr John Reid claim that a final forensics report has not yet been completed or where precisely the bomb exploded has yet to be established.
How did David Foulkes and Jenny Nicholson die in this explosion when they would not have been on this train?
Why were two hotels used as temporary mortuaries before the resilience mortuary at the Honourable Artillery Company was constructed and how secure were these.
How were records of where the victims were taken from kept and passed on.
Why wasn't Edgware Road declared a major incident until 9.32, over 40 minutes after the incident is said to have occurred.
Why does John Tulloch claim the explosion occurred at 8.56 and the 'bomber was in the doorway' of the carriage?
How was Efraim Halevi able to identify these explosions as 'simultaneous' and 'with near-perfect execution' in an article published on the day of 7th July 2005 whereas the Guardian's Rosie Cowan complains that this information was not made available for days.
Why was a second controlled explosion carried out at Edgware Road and how did it impact on the ability of the police to collect evidence?
Why were injured passengers - including seriously injured passengers - from Edgware Road taken to Marks & Spencers and the Hilton Hotel, rather than being taken to St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, just minutes away.
- Who gave the emergency services instructions not to enter the tunnel to perform their duties and why?
- Was there an explosion on the platform at Edgware Road which would account for some of the victims?
How did Lord Sir John Stevens of Kirkwhelpton, ex-commissioner of the Metropolitan Police on whose watch the Crevice suspects -- alleged to have links to two of the 7th July accused -- were being monitored, know to pin the blame on British born terrorists?
- Why are there no CCTV pictures of Mohammed Sidique Khan in London on the morning of 7th July 2005?
Are the survivor groups, London Recovers and King's Cross United, being used to contain survivors legitimate questions and concerns and direct them into calls for an inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005, a piece of legislation under which the judiciary is already boycotting public inquiries and about which, in a Joint Statement issued on the 22nd March 2005, during the week in which the Inquiries Bill was being discussed by a Standing Committee of the House of Commons, Amnesty International, British Irish Rights Watch, The Committee on the Administration of Justice, Human Rights First, The Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association, INQUEST, JUSTICE, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada,The Law Society of England and Wales, the Pat Finucane Centre and the Scottish Human Rights Centre jointly expressed their concern stating that if the Bill were to be enacted it would:
"alter fundamentally the system for establishing and running inquiries into issues of great public importance in the UK, including allegations of serious human rights violations. Should it be passed into law, the effect of the Bill on individuals and cases that merit a public inquiry would be highly detrimental. In particular, in those cases where one or more persons has died or been killed, the right of their surviving family members to know the truth about what happened and to an effective investigation could be violated by the operation of the Bill."