J7 Incident Analysis: Liverpool Street/Aldgate/Aldgate East
Liverpool Street / Aldgate / Aldgate East Incident Analysis
This article presents a detailed summary and analysis of the events that occurred around the Liverpool Street, Aldgate and Aldgate East areas of the London Underground on 7th July 2005.
Index of Sections
- The official version of events
- The breaking story
- Companies involved in Transport for London
- Power Surge?
- Liverpool Street or Aldgate or Aldgate East?
- The changing story
- Eye witness Statements
- Hammersmith & City line train 235 Aldgate East > Liverpool Street
- The Trackernet Images
- Further anomalies
- Liverpool Street / Aldgate Train Photos
- Shehzad Tanweer identified
- A summary of unanswered questions, inconsistencies & anomalies
The official version of events at Liverpool Street / Aldgate suggests that Shehzad Tanweer exploded a bomb in the second carriage of Circle Line train 204, 100 yards into the tunnel between Liverpool Street and Aldgate stations, at 8.50 on July 7th 2005.
Page 5 of 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” states (emphasis added by J7):
08.23: The [Thameslink] 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. Hussain also appeared to walk towards the Piccadilly Line entrance.
08.50: CCTV images show the platform at Liverpool Street with the eastbound Circle Line train alongside seconds before it is blown up. Shehzad Tanweer is not visible, but he must have been in the second carriage from the front. The images show commuters rushing to get on the train and a busy platform. Some get on, some just miss it. The train pulls out of the station. Seconds later smoke billows from the tunnel. There is shock and confusion on the platform as people make for the exits.
Forensic evidence suggests that Tanweer was sitting towards the back of the second carriage with the rucksack next to him on the floor. The blast killed 8 people, including Tanweer, with 171 injured.
“Must have been" and "suggests" are not conclusive terms, nor does the description of CCTV at Liverpool Street make any sense, unless checking if Tanweer got on or off the train before the explosion or if a bag was placed on the train at Liverpool Street.
Why is there no mention of sighting him on the CCTV from the platform at Kings Cross where we're told that Tanweer boarded this train? Or even on CCTV from the train itself. An unidentifiable figure, that the public has been told is Tanweer, entering Luton Station at 07.21.54 on 7th July 2005 is the only CCTV image the public has ever been shown as evidence of his involvement. Nor does 'smoke billowing from the tunnel' prove which train or trains were involved in this incident, or provide conclusive evidence of a bomb exploding on Circle Line train 204.
So, do we know 'exactly what happened that day'? According to our ongoing research, far from it.
The sequence of events according to the BBC Timeline is as follows:
0849 An incident on the Metropolitan Line between Liverpool Street and Aldgate is reported to British Transport Police.
0915 Press Association reports emergency services called to London's Liverpool Street Station after reports of an explosion.
0924 British Transport Police say the incident was possibly caused by a collision between two trains, a power cut or a power cable exploding. Police report "walking wounded".
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.
1118 London's Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair tells the BBC he knows of "about six explosions", one on a bus and the others related to Underground stations. He says he believes the six affected areas are Edgware Road, King's Cross, Liverpool Street, Russell Square, Aldgate East and Moorgate, but says it is "still a confusing situation". He advises Londoners to "stay where you are - all of London's transport is currently disabled" - he refuses to confirm any fatalities.
At approx 9.17am on the morning of July 7th 2005, 27 minutes after we are later told simultaneous explosions occurred on the underground, the first news reports were of an explosion at Liverpool Street station.
Liverpool Street station is both a major London mainline station and terminus in the City of London, serving Norwich and Cambridge, and an Underground station on the Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan and Central lines.
Liverpool Street station also houses the Great Eastern Hotel which was hosting a conference for the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in conjunction with Deutsche Bank, the hotel where Rudi Giuliani, the Mayor of New York on September 11th 2001, happened to be staying. Giuliani himself said:
"I was right near Liverpool [Street] Station when the first bomb went off and was notified of it and it was just to me very eerie to be right there again when one of these attacks takes place."
Source: Metropolitan Police Service
It appears that Mr Giuliani had information that the rest of us didn't, because the official story for several hours was that there had been power surges on the Underground. Power surges in themselves are serious and do cause explosions. Indeed, Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone said as much at a 7 July Review Committee Meeting [PDF] on March 1st 2006:
"You could have had a power surge with a quite catastrophic casualty level. We have always been aware of that on the Underground."
Given that the Israeli Finance Minister and former Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was due at the Great Eastern Hotel for this conference and was warned not to attend a few minutes before the blast, it is more than likely that there would have been an increased police and security service presence in the area. It appears that Netanyahu was staying in the Russell Hotel close to the site of the Russell Square and 30 bus explosions. The Israeli Embassy were quick to deny that this conference could have been the target for such an attack.
Israeli officials stress the advanced Scotland Yard warning does not in any way indicate Israel was the target in the series of apparent terror attacks.
Early reports say that the first emergency service vehicles were called to Liverpool Street station. According to the London Ambulance Service web site:
07 July 2005 10:30hrs
Reports of an incident at Liverpool Street Station
We were called at 08.51 this morning (Thursday 7 July) to reports of an incident at Liverpool Street Station.
“The London Ambulance Service (LAS) received its first emergency call about the incident at 0851 from the British Transport Police requesting its attendance at Liverpool Street Station in response to reports of an explosion. It quickly became apparent that the location of the incident was closer to Aldgate Station, and emergency vehicles were re-deployed to this scene.”
Source: London Ambulance Response
Whether the location of the incident was closer to Aldgate than Liverpool Street will be addressed later in this article.
According to this entry in a blog of an Ambulance despatcher, "Then, at 0853 we took the first call, from the British Transport Police. This was rather sparse in information — there had been an explosion at Liverpool Street, could we have an ambulance (just the one) on standby as a precaution." This doesn't sound like a response to a serious incident. LAS testimony as told to the 7 July Review Committee that was set up by the Greater London Authority, has a different version of events. This London Ambulance Service report claims that the first requests for ambulances were made by the Fire Brigade and called to Aldgate and then only later to Liverpool Street:
Handling the first calls
“London Fire Brigade requested our attendance at Aldgate station. Following procedure, I called London Underground to check the details and ensure it was not a false alarm. Underground staff confirmed that an explosion had occurred and whilst I entered the details, they started to get more information about further incidents on the network at Liverpool Street and Edgware Road.”
Liverpool Street, Aldgate and Aldgate East all fall within the boundaries of the City of London and come under the jurisdiction of the City Of London police. The Underground also has a dedicated police force, the British Transport Police (BTP). The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) testimony given to the GLA July 7th Review Committee states:
“This scene is within the City Police/BTP jurisdiction and they were close to the scene at the time of the explosion. City police do not have their own emergency information room 999 calls come to the Met at the Yard and are passed to City Police via CAD. So the MPS were aware straight away”.
Yet, elsewhere in the report, it notes that, "The Metropolitan Police Service was not officially called to the scene at Aldgate until 9.19 am, seven minutes after the activation of the ‘first alert’ system", which is some 30 minutes after the first explosion.
The MPS called the Fire Brigade to Aldgate but not Liverpool Street: “at 0856 Metropolitan Police call the Brigade to a fire and explosion at Aldgate tube station”. Just one fire engine was sent to Liverpool Street at 9.02am after reports that 'smoke was issuing from a tunnel”. The Fire Response Unit (FRU) was mobilised from Croydon to Liverpool Street at 9.00am, arriving at 9.30am, which is hardly surprising given that the journey from Croydon to Liverpool Street is approximately 11 miles. Why a Fire Response Unit was mobilised from 11 miles away, outside London, when Whitechapel fire station is just minutes away, remains an unanswered question.
One of the points made by the Home Office report “Lessons Learned' (PDF) was that communications between the emergency services were compromised around the Aldgate area by the decision of the City of London police to shut down the mobile network:
The City of London Police asked the mobile telephone operator (O2 plc) to invoke privileged access around Aldgate for around four hours to ease access to their mobile network for responders with the appropriate access rights. However, some responders, and the London Ambulance Service in particular, along with the general public were therefore deprived of access. While senior London Ambulance Service managers do have privilege access, on the day some managers did not.
The first travel report from Transport for London made at 09.55 informs the public that the network has been suspended and all stations evacuated following major incidents at Liverpool Street and Edgware Road on the Hammersmith & City lines. A web site update at 14.25 states that the train is a Hammersmith & City Line train travelling towards Liverpool Street.
At 09:46, the London Underground was suspended and all stations commenced evacuation following incidents at:
Aldgate station heading towards Liverpool Street station on the Hammersmith & City line;
Source: Transport For London
The same report was also given by Tube Lines on 7th July 2005.
A Hammersmith & City Line train would be en route from Aldgate East as this line doesn't run from Aldgate, whether this train is the Hammersmith & City Line train 235 will be addressed later. The MPS also issued a press statement at 14.30 on 7th July whose ambiguous language implies that the train is travelling towards Liverpool Street rather than Aldgate:
At 08.51 on 7 July at Liverpool Street Station there was a confirmed explosion in a carriage 100 yards into the (Liverpool Street-bound station) tunnel.
Source: Metropolitan Police Service
This information was repeated the following day by Andy Hayman CBE, Assistant Commissioner of Metropolitan Police Specialist Operations, responsible for terrorist investigations. On 8th July 2005 Andy Hayman told a press conference of the assembled world's media:
"In relation to the tube train in Aldgate traveling toward Liverpool Street, the explosion occurred in a carriage approximately 100 yards into the tunnel. The device was in the third carriage and unfortunately we can't be any more specific than that."
One can only feel great sympathy for those relatives and friends of the victims who would have been given false hope by these announcements whilst trying to contact loved ones. No explanation has been given as to why the correct trains were not identified immediately. A Freedom of Information request lodged soon after the 7th July incidents asked if the Network Control Centre (NCC) would have information from the drivers via radio communications:
Our network control had been alerted to all the incidents within minutes of them happening. Your question also seems to assume that the drivers would have known instantly that the incidents were bombs, but this also isn't the case. They reported what they knew, often the symptoms rather than the cause (so to speak), which itself may not have been immediately clear.
If the NCC knew where the incidents had occurred and on which trains, why was incorrect information given out by TfL and the MPS? It is very difficult to understand how such a basic error in identifying which train was affected can be made. Testimony to the GLA Review Committee by members of the media claim they knew which trains and at which sites these explosions occurred and that they informed the MPS & TfL of this error:
David Taylor (Executive Editor, News, London Evening Standard): In the case of the London Evening Standard, about 90 seconds after the first bomb. Our Transport Editor received the first call about Aldgate literally 90 seconds after it occurred from one of his contacts who had been on the train that was ahead. He said there had been a massive bang and people were running through Liverpool Street.
Within a moment of two we had another call from a City source, who had offices above Aldgate, who told us of a huge explosion. By about 9.05am, we had a trusted and known union contact who was telling us that people on the ground were saying there had been three explosions on the network.
To add to that, we had eyewitnesses by about 9.30am who were ringing up to say that they had been on the train and had seen bodies on the line at Aldgate.
Jonathan Richards (LBC News and Heart 106.2): Following on from that slightly, from our perspective, we were having witnesses telling us that the Aldgate bomb had been on a train that was travelling from Kings Cross towards Tower Hill. However, the police and TfL, for 36 hours afterwards, were maintaining that the train was coming from Tower Hill towards Kings Cross. Which as it turned out, was quite important. That was a case of reporters specifically putting the point to the police and TfL, and them saying ‘No, you’ve got it wrong; it was coming from Tower Hill.’
Transport for London (TfL) was created in 2000 as part of the Greater London Authority by the Greater London Authority Act 1999. It gained most of its functions from its predecessor London Regional Transport in 2000. However, it did not take over responsibility for the London Underground until 2003, after the controversial Public-Private Partnership (PPP) contract for maintenance had been agreed. Under the PPP scheme the core of the Underground - the track, signalling, bridges, tunnels, lifts, escalators, stations and trains were transferred to three private companies. Prior to this, the London Underground was state owned & controlled. From 2001 to 2006 Bob Kiley was the first Commissioner of TfL, appointed by Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, with responsibility for the whole London transport system.
Early in his career, he was with the CIA, where he served as Manager of Intelligence Operations and then as Executive Assistant to the Director, (Richard Helms).
Robert Kiley is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Board Member of the Salzburg International Seminar, the American Repertory Theater, MONY Group Inc, the Princeton Review Inc and Edison Schools, Inc. He is also on the Advisory Board of the Harvard University Center for State and Local Government.
Having been appointed with a £2m, four-year contract, former CIA man Kiley became the world's best paid public servant. He quit his position as commissioner shortly after the London bombings in 2005 amid a not inconsiderable controversy about alleged alcohol-related problems for which Kiley admits he sought help from Alcoholics Anonymous and the manner in which he appointed many of his American ex-colleagues. Upon quitting his post as commissioner Kiley received a £1.2m severance package, the terms of which were initially confidential. It included consultancy payments of £3,200 per day for up to 90 days a year in 2006 and 2007. According to London Mayor, Ken Livingstone, "Bob Kiley was worth every penny we paid him as commissioner of Transport for London." Liberal Democrat transport spokesman for London, Geoff Pope, added: "Most Londoners will be rightly furious that the mayor is handing over £737,000 a year of taxpayers' money to a consultant who admits he isn't doing much. But it doesn't stop there: he also gets a personal assistant and a free house worth £3,000 a week rent. This makes a joke of affordable housing for key workers. These are benefits most of us can only dream about." Mike Gapes, Labour and Cooperative Party MP for Ilford South had raised a great number of issues about the appointment of Mr Kiley in 2002 and the negative effects of Kiley upon London's essential public transport infrastructure, all of which were ignored.
Two private consortia, Tube Lines and Metronet, have 30-year PPP contracts to run the Tube. Tube Lines is owned by Amey and Bechtel, and runs the Northern, Piccadilly and Jubilee Lines. Jarvis sold its share in Tube Lines to Amey (owned by the Spanish Ferrovial Group) in January 2005. Jarvis were responsible for the Potters Bar rail crash in May 2002 which led to 7 deaths and hundreds of injuries, and Jarvis' company directors escaped being charged with corporate manslaughter by the Crown Prosecution Service in October 2005. Jarvis, under the name Fastline, has recently renewed links with the Tube under a sub-contract with Metronet. Parallels with July 7th can be found in the government's refusal to hold a Public Inquiry into the Potters Bar rail crash and that the inquests have not yet opened into these deaths.
A short synopsis on Bechtel from Wikipedia for a flavour of the company that is presently working beneath the streets of London, especially around the Kings Cross/St Pancras area where the new Channel Tunnel Rail link and Thameslink station are being built:
The Bechtel family has owned Bechtel since incorporating the company in 1925. Bechtel's size, its political clout, and its penchant for privacy have made it a perennial target for journalists and politicians since the 1930's. Bechtel has maintained strong relationships with officials in many United States administrations, including those of Nixon Reagan George H W Bush Bill Clinton George dubya Bush. The company also has strong ties to other governments, particularly the Saudi Royal Family. Recently, the company has come under criticism [...] for its financial links to the bin Laden family and the manner in which it received Iraqi rebuilding contracts after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Politicians in the United States and in Europe have made accusations of cronyism between the Bush administration and Bechtel.
Metronet runs the Circle line, amongst others, and is owned by Atkins, Balfour Beatty, Bombardier, EDF Energy and RWE Thames Water. In 2004, Metronet awarded the contract for the installation of CCTV systems on the London Underground to Verint, an Israeli company and arm of scandal-riven Comverse.
Comverse came under scrutiny in a Fox News investigation into the wire-tapping systems provided by the company to the US Government:
Congress insists the equipment it installs is secure. But the complaint about this system is that the wiretap computer programs made by Comverse have, in effect, a back door through which wiretaps themselves can be intercepted by unauthorized parties.
Adding to the suspicions is the fact that in Israel, Comverse works closely with the Israeli government, and under special programs, gets reimbursed for up to 50 percent of its research and development costs by the Israeli Ministry of Industry and Trade. But investigators within the DEA, INS and FBI have all told Fox News that to pursue or even suggest Israeli spying through Comverse is considered career suicide.
On April 13 2005, the CEO of Metronet was replaced by the chief operating officer of Jarvis, Andrew Lezala. An appointment whose irony was not lost on the general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, Bob Crow, who had this to say:
"The profit-hungry ethics of Jarvis has already led to them being kicked off maintenance contracts on the mainline following disasters like Potter's Bar and Hatfield. It is unbelievable that Jarvis are now being handed control of the Tube."
The National Grid was also once a publicly-owned company before it was sold off during the Thatcher regime of the 1990's and is now known as National Grid PLC.
9.28am: Metronet says the incident was caused "by some kind of power surge", but the National Grid said there had been no reports of problems.
If 'power surges' had been the cause of the explosions, any companies found to be at fault could have faced corporate manslaughter charges. Directors of Balfour Beatty, one of the Metronet consortium, were already involved in a corporate manslaughter case at the Old Bailey on the day of 7th July that resulted from their part in the Hatfield train crash. The corporate manslaughter charges were dropped on 14th July 2005 in favour of prosecuting the company under minor Health & Safety regulations. Balfour Beatty were fined £10 million for 'negligence'. Once again there are parallels with the events of July 2005, this time with the assassination of Jean Charles de Menezes where murder charges were dropped against the MPS in favour of pressing for charges under Health and Safety regulations.
Were power surges a cover story? Apparently not according to this London Underground response to a J7 Freedom of Information request:
.... I'm afraid it's not accurate to say that the information given about a power surge was a 'story'. When the explosions happened, obviously they broke the track circuit. On the computer systems at network control, such a big break would look the same as a power surge. It's worth pointing out that we have never been the victim of a terrorist attack of this kind before, but on 28 August 2003 a power surge knocked out about half of the network. Such a surge can be accompanied by explosions. In other words, all the evidence we had at the time (including the information from the drivers) and our experience pointed to a power surge, so that's what we said it was. This information was given in good faith.
Furthermore, an article for PR Week, 7 July: Putting crisis into practice (now hidden behind a paid-for subscription service) quoted Transport for London's director of group media, Paul Mylrea, who confirmed that power surges had indeed occurred:
At TfL there was frustration that the early reports of a power surge were widely believed to be a deliberate ploy by the authorities to minimise panic. 'The simple fact is that there was a power surge,' says Mylrea. 'It was one effect of the bombs and the first thing that our control room picked up. I was frustrated by the critical response to that: if we hadn't been so open with information we would have probably been accused of holding back.'
EDF Energy, part of the Metronet consortium responsible for the Circle line, phased in a new signalling and power system to the underground, commencing in late 2004. The new Spider network was installed:
“A key element in the PFI scheme was the planned closure of LU’s dedicated 180 MW Lots Road power station, with LU taking all its power from the National Grid, via London’s local Distribution Network Operator, EDF Energy. Control of the network is now centralised in two replicated command centres (main and emergency) manned both by LU staff, who are responsible for DC traction feed, and SPL staff, responsible for AC supply. Discussions with EDF Energy identified that the additional traction load on the local distribution network, due to the diode rectifiers which feed DC electricity to the trains, would have an adverse effect on the power quality for the London area unless corrective action was taken.”
Coincidentally, a claim of responsibility for the explosions was posted on the internet on 9th July by the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigade who had previously claimed responsibility for other power surges which had caused major blackouts in London and New York. There is no evidence that this group even exists.
A rather useful train map shows the distances between stations. Liverpool St – Aldgate is 0.39 miles, approximately 686 yards. The official report quoted above claims that smoke issues from the tunnel seconds after the train leaves Liverpool Street station. The MPS say the explosion occurred 100 yards into the tunnel from Liverpool Street. According to The Tube TV documentary that was being filmed at the time of the attacks, Howard Collins, who was managing the Recovery Team for LU, states that the train had continued for approximately 80 to 90 metres after the explosion. This would place the train around 200 yards from Liverpool Street and 476 yards from Aldgate. Despite this closer proximity to Liverpool Street, the incident becomes known as Aldgate, and mentions of Liverpool Street soon disappear down the memory hole.
According to Howard Collins, the Circle line train 204, on the left, in its stopped position between Liverpool Street and Aldgate stations.
Hammersmith & City Line train 235 outside Aldgate East and two trains at the platform at Aldgate.
Screen shot taken from The Tube documentary programme.
Liverpool Street fails to be mentioned as a site from which the injured by the LAS in this reply to Richard Barnes of the 7th July Review Committee:
The individual summary sheets for each incident site
• Aldgate Underground Station
• Edgware Road Underground Station
• Kings Cross Underground Station
• Russell Square Underground Station
• Tavistock Square incident
As stated earlier, all five of these sites were cleared of all patients as follows:
Aldgate 1hr 22 mins
Edgware 3hrs (best estimate)
Kings Cross 2hrs 26 mins
Russell Square 2hrs 56 mins
Tavistock Square 2hrs 10 mins
There are few reported eye-witness accounts which describe being evacuated from this train towards Liverpool Street, although this report in the Guardian claims that injured people were being treated on the concourse at Liverpool Street station.
Survivor Michael Henning (pictured below) makes the point about evacuating to Aldgate and not Liverpool Street in his submission to the GLA Review Committee:
“The drivers, all credit to them – it was our driver, I believe, and certainly a driver from an oncoming train who was not caught in the explosion but saw it – came to help. They helped us off the back of train. No criticism for them, but the decision was made to walk to Aldgate station, which meant that we had to walk past the train. I subsequently found out that those in the rear carriages did not know there had been an explosion.They had no idea what they were going to see in a matter of seconds. [...] but I wonder, having experienced the post-traumatic stress that affects people, and I know has affected people who were not as close to me, whether perhaps we should have walked to Liverpool Street and spared them the views that were coming.”
Source: p20 GLA Review [PDF]
No explanation is given by any of the emergency services as to why this decision was made neither was this question even asked by the members of the GLA Review Committee during their various meetings with the officials from the day.
The drivers who evacuated this train have never been named, nor have they received any publicity not even to discuss their heroic actions in the face of unprecedented adversity. Henning's reference to 'an oncoming train' is also interesting and will be referred to later when discussing the Trackernet images that were released by TfL. Neither have these drivers been amongst the many recipients of honours for their bravery that day. In fact, none of the actual tube drivers from any of the affected trains has been publicly named. According to the International Herald Tribune:
Drivers of Underground trains, who are not allowed to talk to the news media directly, have shared tales of chaos and confusion with their union representative
The Red Cross also report being called out to Liverpool Street as early as 9am to treat people:
Dave Morris, who has been a volunteer for 40 years, was called out at 9am Thursday morning to Liverpool Street, where he treated people for smoke inhalation and shock.
The Red Cross are part of the new Civil Contingencies Act:
The Red Cross has a pre-planned role to assist the emergency services in the event of a major incident. The new Civil Contingencies Act requires the statutory services to work with voluntary organisations, including the Red Cross, when preparing and responding to major incidents.
In a response to a J7 Freedom of Information request the Cabinet Office have since advised the July 7th Truth Campaign that the Civil Contingencies Act was not invoked on 7/7.
By 9.05, a major incident had been declared, it is known to be an explosion, although not necessarily a bomb, and that there are at least 5 fatalities, yet the British public were told nothing of this yet. It is unclear from the final GLA Review Committee report which ambulance crew reported these 5 fatalities, was it the one at Liverpool Street as the one at Aldgate didn't arrive until 9.14?
The first ambulance arrived at 9.03 am at Liverpool Street, followed three minutes later by an emergency planning manager. At 9.07 am, the London Ambulance Service Emergency Planning Manager advised Central Ambulance Control to place hospitals on major incident standby, identify safe rendez-vous points in case of a Chemical, Biological, Radiation or Nuclear (CBRN) risk, and mobilise equipment vehicles. At 9.14 am, an ambulance crew reported that the incident had been an explosion, and that there were five fatalities. The first ambulance to arrive at Aldgate arrived at 9.14, 9 minutes after the Fire Brigade at the station first declared a major incident, and 13 minutes after the first request from British Transport Police.
Source: p25 Final GLA Report [PDF]
The initial report of the Liverpool Street blast changes to incidents at Liverpool Street, Aldgate, Aldgate East and Moorgate. This statement issued by the MPS at 10.20 mentions all these sites:
At approx 08:50 on 7.7.05 we were called to Aldgate LT stn to assist the City of London police and British Transport Police regarding an incident on the underground system.
All of the emergency services are on scene.
This has been declared as a major incident.
Too early to state what has happened at this stage.
There have been further reports from multiple locations in London of explosions. It is too early to say what has caused these explosions.
Police are responding to reports from:
Moorgate underground stations.
Source: Metropolitan Police Service
Despite this report of fatalities at Aldgate East:
by 12.30 the MPS issues a statement which now excludes this as the site of an explosion:
There are four confirmed sites where police are dealing with reported explosions this morning. These are:
1) Russell Square and King’s Cross underground
2) Moorgate, Aldgate, and Liverpool Street underground
3) Edgware Road underground
4) Tavistock Square, where there has been a confirmed explosion on a bus.
Source: Metropolitan Police Service
The inclusion of Moorgate as an incident site appears to relate to the following report of a loss of a power cable:
At 09:09, an engineer reports losing a high tension power cable between Mansell Street and Moorgate.
Source: BBC London
Yet a Freedom of Information request to Transport for London (TfL) asking for information about this incident at Moorgate received the following reply:
We have no record of any incident regarding a power cable at Moorgate station on that date.
Incidentally, Moorgate is one station west of Liverpool Street and this incident could well be connected to these explosions. The Network Control Centre for the London Underground were claiming to be dealing with such an incident amongst others:
In the 20 minutes that had passed since 08:50, the Network Control Centre was now dealing with four separate issues (power supply, derailment at Edgware Road / person under train, person under train at Liverpool Street, loss of high tension power cable near Moorgate and was receiving the appropriate co-ordinated response from LU, emergency services and suppliers.
Source: BBC London
Despite the MPS statement at 12.30 that they were responding to 7 incidents, by 12.54 Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary at the time, was announcing to the House of Commons that these were terrorist incidents, and that four sites had been targeted.
As the House will know, this morning there have been a number of terrorist attacks in central London. The situation is developing and I am not yet in a position to give a conclusive account of all that has happened, but I wanted to keep the House as fully informed as possible.
...... I am not in a position at this time to give precise details, but what I can say is that four explosions have been confirmed. The first was on a tube train between Aldgate East and Liverpool Street. The second was on a bus in Woburn place. The third was on a tube train between Russell Square and King's Cross and the fourth was on a tube train at Edgware Road station. As yet, we do not know who or which organisations are responsible for those criminal and appalling acts.
Many of the witnesses describe 'flames' 'fire' 'electrical surges' 'crashes' – very few describe hearing an explosion. Michael Henning states in his testimony to the GLA: “There was no bang I heard; it was just a lot of noise. I had been twisted and thrown down to the ground”.
Possibly the best known and oft-quoted witness to the events on this train is Bruce Lait, his account describes very few people in the carriage near him, with only about 25 people on the whole carriage, and he doesn't remember anyone standing where the hole in the carriage was. He & his partner Crystal, describe a 'huge electricity surge' which knocked him out. This description is more in keeping with the original story of power surges that London Underground originally claimed were the source of the explosions:
"I was in tube bomb carriage - and survived"
CAMBRIDGE dancer Bruce Lait has spoken of his miraculous escape when a bomb exploded just yards away from him in a Tube train carriage.
The 32-year-old was knocked out by the blast and awoke to a terrible scene of devastation in the underground tunnel near London's Aldgate East station.
Mr Lait, who teaches dance in Cambridge, believes he and his dance partner Crystal Main were the only passengers in the carriage who survived the blast without serious injury - even though they were sitting nearest to where the bomb detonated.
When he came to, there was a body lying on top of him and he was surrounded by the dead and injured. But incredibly, the only wounds the dance coach sustained were facial lacerations and a perforated eardrum.
"I feel extremely, extremely lucky," he said.
The explosion happened just after Mr Lait and Ms Main, 23, got on the train at Liverpool Street on their way to the South Bank for a rehearsal.
He recalled that the carriage had about 20-25 people in it, from all walks of life, and aged from their teens to over 60.
"I remember an Asian guy, there was a white guy with tracksuit trousers and a baseball cap, and there were two old ladies sitting opposite me," he said.
"We'd been on there for a minute at most and then something happened. It was like a huge electricity surge which knocked us out and burst our eardrums. I can still hear that sound now," he said.
The impact of the blast made him pass out. As he came to, he wondered whether he was alive or dead.
"We were right in the carriage where the bomb was. I was knocked out. I did not know what was going on.
"I wondered if I was dead or not. I said to myself, you can't be dead because your brain is having conscious thoughts, so concentrate hard. I was telling myself 'wake up Bruce, wake up'."
Disorientated, he only gradually realised where he was and what had happened.
"When I woke up and looked around I saw darkness, smoke and wreckage. It took a while to realise where I was and what was going on, then my first concern was for Crystal.
"She was okay but she was in shock because she was trying to deal with the person on top of her who had massive head injuries. We have just found out that this person died," said Mr Lait, who lives in Suffolk.
He too was afraid to move because there was a seriously injured woman lying on top of him
When paramedics arrived, they confirmed that the woman on top of him was dead and carefully moved her body. Mr Lait said the middle-aged woman had blonde curly hair, was dressed in black, and could have been a businesswoman.
He and Crystal were helped out of the carriage. As they made their way out, a policeman pointed out where the bomb had been.
"The policeman said 'mind that hole, that's where the bomb was'. The metal was pushed upwards as if the bomb was underneath the train. They seem to think the bomb was left in a bag, but I don't remember anybody being where the bomb was, or any bag," he said.
They were led through the tunnel to the platform at Aldgate, which was just a few hundred yards away, and taken out of the station to wait for an ambulance.
Mr Lait was taken to the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, where he was visited by the Queen on Friday.
Reflecting on the ordeal, he said: "Out of that whole carriage, I think Crystal and I were the only ones who were not seriously injured, and I think we were nearest the bomb.”
Source: Cambridge Evening News
The 'middle-aged woman' Bruce Lait describes may well be Anne Moffat, who sadly died in this explosion. Whether she is the woman with 'blonde curly hair' is impossible to check as she is the only victim on the BBC web site without an accompanying photograph. The 'two older ladies' that he and his partner both describe as sitting opposite are not amongst the list of seven fatalities for this train.
Bruce Lait's partner, Crystal, gives the following account of the incident, which again describes the hole in the floor directly in front of her where a woman had been standing, and of being electrocuted:
"I sat next to the double doors where the glass panel was. Bruce was beside me on the left. A lady was standing in the middle of the carriage holding the pole and two older ladies were opposite me. I was really tired. I had my eyes closed for about 20 seconds and all of a sudden I felt as if I [was] having a fit and couldn't control myself. I slipped to the side. It was as if I had been electrocuted and thousands of volts were going through me. My face was really sore. I slowly opened my eyes and it was dusty and foggy and black. To start with I couldn't hear anything, I couldn't see anything. I must have been screaming: 'Help me, help me'. I couldn't see much, just shapes in the carriage. The carriages in front and behind had lights. There was blood everywhere. There was a lady laying on top of Bruce and against the top of my shoulder. The lady who had been standing in the middle of the carriage had her feet next to mine and was laying over my lap and down where the glass panel was originally. “Me and Bruce spoke to each other. There was metal and muck everywhere. We couldn't make out what was what. Directly in front of me was a big hole. The lady next to me was gasping and gulping a little bit."
Source: Sunday Mirror 12th July 2005
Other eye-witness accounts taken soon after and reported on the BBC web site, (which initially refers to this event as being at Liverpool Street):
Tanya Alleyway describes seeing flames: “It was just general chaos. I thought I was going to die when I saw the flames. I thought we were going to get engulfed by the flames or get overwhelmed by the smoke. “
The Times carries these reports taken on 7th: Joanna Myerson, 29, covered in black soot and shaking with shock, was travelling from West Hampstead on a Circle Line train at 8.56 from Farringdon to Aldgate. All of a sudden everything went white and we got thrown to the floor and there was smoke and fire outside. It sounded like an impact almost. You could see a sort of electrical fire outside the carriage, on the wall of the tunnel.”
|BBC 1/10/05 a power surge sent a flare 10 foot into the air from the track.|
Mustafa Kurtuldu, 24, from Hackney, said: "The train seemed to almost lift up off the rails. It sounded like an impact. It went white and there were flames outside the train, but they died down quickly. I was in the next carriage from where the actual thing happened.”
Aldgate passenger Sarah Reid said: "I was on the train and there was a sudden jolt forward. There was a really hard banging from the carriage next door to us after the explosion - that's where it happened. Describing events moments before the explosion, she said: "There was a fire beside me. I saw flames outside on the window of my carriage."
Derek Price told the Daily Telegraph: "A flash of flame went down the side of the train. There was a lot of dense smoke, and everyone was on the floor. It took about 45 minutes to evacuate us.
Another report has Emma describing how “the vent under her feet exploded and flames shot up through the hole.”
Andrew Robinson describes the incident, again no mention of hearing an explosion: "I was on the last carriage on the train that exploded just outside Aldgate. The train juddered to a halt and all the lights went out; a load of dust from the seats flew up and we were coughing. There was a strange burning smell, almost like hot metal or an electrical smell. At first we thought the train had derailed and started to joke about it but somewhere in front someone was screaming. Still, we thought they were just claustrophobic or something. There was no panic or real fear, just irritation that we would be late for work. At this point we didn't realise what had happened”.
A police officer, Lizzie Kenworthy, describes what she saw when travelling on this train and going into the carriage where the victims were:
I walked through to the end and saw the buckled door of the next carriage, which is where the bomb had gone off. A man said: "You mustn't go in." I could hear people screaming, so I knew I had to see what I could do. I crawled through the interconnecting door, which had blood on the glass. One woman sitting on the seat was twisted round. She was trapped and there wasn't much left of her leg. The chap next to her had lost his leg and there was a woman to their left who was on her back trapped in the metal, which had twisted up through the middle of the carriage. The roof was still on, but the lining of the carriage had been blown off. The sides had also come off and there was a big hole in the floor. A guy was writhing around on a big sheet of metal a bit further up.
Ms Kenworthy's description of the hole being 'in the middle of the carriage' doesn't square with the allegation that Shehzad Tanweer was seated close to the back of the carriage, or the BBC report of the device being at the rear of the carriage. Her description of the metal having 'twisted up' is consistent with Bruce Lait's report of the hole in the floor of the carriage.
Pity future historians or researchers attempting to make sense of the events of 7th July in years to come, unless a truly Independent Public Inquiry outside of the Inquiries Act 2005 is held, because J7 researchers are finding it difficult to draw together a cohesive account of what actually happened from the many and varied versions in the public domain. Take this eyewitness, John Simpson, describing his experience to The Independent, not only does he describe fire but tells of an oncoming train, as does Michael Henning referred to earlier:
John Simpson, a City worker from Gloucester, said: "All I could see was fire everywhere. My face was burning and for a moment I thought I was actually on fire.
"All I could see were bodies lying in the tube and on the tracks. None of them were moving and I assume they were all dead. They were in a pretty bad state.
"Then another Tube going in the opposite direction pulled up and the driver helped us onto his Tube and out to where emergency services were waiting."
Stranger still are the experiences of those who were (probably) on train 235 on the Hammersmith & City line which had just left Aldgate East and which can be seen in the third Trackernet image close to train 204. Despite Mike Brown, Chief Operations Officer for London Underground, claiming in a statement made for the US Homeland Security Committee [PDF] that all trains were evacuated within an hour, "apart from one train stuck behind the one that exploded at Russell Square", the accounts from train 235 tell of people waiting until past 11am to be evacuated. Why are they left on a train for over two hours? Saira Khan gives this account of waiting to be evacuated with no announcements to explain why, and then being taken onto buses at Aldgate East away from the scene and questioned by police to ascertain if they saw anything suspicious. Given that we have all seen the news coverage and read the reports of many injured and traumatised people wandering off from the sites of the explosions, why were the passengers on this train, if unaffected by the explosions, treated in this way? What might they have seen?
“Announcement by the people in a big yellow jacket! 'Everybody be ready to give your names and addresses and please stay calm and cooperative. We will ask you of what you saw this morning on your journey, please inform us of any thing unusual or suspicious you may have seen.'
We board the bus is full and we carry on ... no one knows where but one thing is clear that it's out of London, and will be heading out, not in. Phone calls are starting to pick up, the odd phone works.
The bus stops in a side road somewhere and there is one behind us. We all exit and have three gentlemen from a police car exit with clipboards, and inform us that our names and addresses will be taken. We give our details and explain what we saw and heard. It takes a while by this time we all are unaware of time, and have forgotten our purpose of the day.”
Saira Khan's train is mentioned in reports of John Boyle, an off-duty tube driver who happened to be passing Aldgate that morning and who received an MBE from the Queen:
Tube driver John Boyle was taking a detour through Aldgate on his way to work when the Circle Line train bomb went off.
As a former station inspector who knew "every nook and cranny" of the line at Aldgate, he believes it was fate that put him there, to guide shocked passengers out along the track. Despite witnessing the grim bomb scene, he helped people walk down the track to safety at Aldgate and went on to evacuate another train stuck at Aldgate East.
It would appear that train 235 at Aldgate East is the one referred to here by Azima Aziz:
I was travelling on the Hammersmith and City line travelling to Moorgate. The blast was in our train but in different carriage, as TfL said they evacuated the underground with in one hour, but we were stuck on the train for at least two hours before we have been taken out. It was shocking, people was screaming and crying, thank God we are still alive. I'm thankful to the emergency plan, how they took us out, they took the injured people out first, then emergency crew was on every step of track when they took us out. Thanks to all the emergency crew.
Azima Aziz, Manor Park, London
At 8.50am, Manjit Dhanjal was sitting on a train between Aldgate East and Liverpool Street station, on her way to work in the City. "There were a few sparks and I thought it was just a power surge," Ms Dhanjal, 26, said:
"Then I saw this fireball a few carriages in front of me, and everything went black. No one knew what was happening; there was just panic. I could hear people screaming and we thought someone would come and tell us what was happening, but no one did for ages."
In written testimony to the GLA 7 July Review Committee, Sachin, another passenger travelling from Aldgate East on the Hammersith & City line also describes waiting on this train for over 2 hours and being taken out of the area on a mini-bus:
I was on a Hammersmith and City line train having boarded at Upton Park where I live and aiming to get off at Hammersmith where I used to work. My train had just left Aldgate East station when I heard a huge explosion which shook the windows of our train. The lights dimmed and came back on again and the train came to a stand-still [....] Shortly afterwards though, the train driver told us that a fuse had blown (whatever that meant) and I was reassured by that. I thought ok there's been some sort of technical fault somewhere and something has exploded. A few minutes later, since the train was close to the station we heard sirens, this made me wonder, but still I thought maybe the fuse exploding has caused some damage and the emergency services were coming to fix it. [...] There was a LU worker sitting in the same carriage as us and at some point during all this she knocked on the train driver's door (I was in the first carriage of the train) and was let in. After some time the driver said that there had ‘been a serious incident in central London’ and he seemed shaken when he came out of his room with the woman holding him. As soon as they left police officers in glow-in-the-dark yellow jackets came in to evacuate us carriage by carriage starting from the carriage at the end (they came to the front of the train first to find a ladder from the little room the driver sits in). My carriage was evacuated last, except for a pregnant lady, who to her credit remained very calm, who was taken off the train when the police came to find a ladder. It was about 10:30 - 11:00 when we finally got out of the train and walked on the tracks (keeping to the sleepers as advised), up the ramp and onto the platform of Aldgate East station where we were given a bottle of mineral water and told to leave the station (there seemed to be two exits and I didn't know which to take so I just followed whoever was in front of me). A minibus was waiting outside for us and it took us on a short journey out of the area.
Leaving passengers sitting on trains in tunnels also seems bizarre when considered in conjunction with the operating protocol that prevented the fire brigade from entering the tunnels for fear of secondary explosions. Emergency Service workers also delayed entering the tunnel due to fears of a second explosion. Michael Henning testifies:
“I knew that the Whitechapel fire station was less than half a mile from Aldgate station, and I had known from a contact that the second shift, which came on at 09.00, had been told not to come in; the existing shift was going to take it and carry on until the job was finished. He said that he had been there within 10 minutes, and assessed the situation, but that their protocols – and the very honest fireman said they were worried about the second explosion – stopped them from going down.
There had obviously been some activity of those that could walk out of the first carriage and those that could walk out the second carriage, because those were empty as we walked past [other than those who were trapped or badly injured in the second carriage]. This is no criticism of the emergency services, but I ask them to look at their protocols. I did not think about a second explosion when I was down there, but I sat amongst probably a few hundred people in those carriages. If there had been a second explosion, they would have stood no chance. My thought would be, ‘Better get them out as quickly as possible.’
At the end of the day, how can you say when a second explosion is going to be? When is it going to be 10 minutes, 40 minutes, an hour? Is it going to be where we evacuated to at the station entrance? If it was the risk of a definite second explosion that still stopped the emergency services going down, perhaps send one guy down with a loud hailer. He could have stood round the bend in the tunnel and told us to get out, or told the drivers what to do. I think simple communication and direction for people to get out was the order of the day – as quickly as possible to safety. Like good people, we sat waiting; we had no idea.”
How long before the Emergency Services were allowed to attend the scene is unclear and it is worth noting that the GLA 7 July Review Committee were unable to establish these facts, or who gave this instruction, as a result of failure to maintain adequate records.
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
However, it appears that protocol had not prevented the ambulance service from entering the train as they reported 5 fatalities and an explosion as early as 9.14. How was it known at this early stage that there had been an explosion caused by a bomb rather than a power surge? Tim O'Toole says in a Rail Manager Online interview [PDF] that it wasn't until the number 30 bus exploded, almost an hour after the incidents underground, that it became clear that they were dealing with crime scenes underground.
The blog of an ambulance dispatcher describes the events of July 7th:
Then a call taker sitting opposite me took a call from a member of staff at Aldgate East station. “There’s been an explosion,” she said, “there are walking wounded coming out with cuts and soot and debris in their hair.”
Aldgate East is also mentioned in this local newspaper account of the blasts, which claims that more than one train was involved at the blast scene and that the bomb was inside a holdall left on the floor of a train leaving Aldgate East:
Hidden holdall bomb' causes carnage
A SINGLE blast from a bomb hidden inside a holdall tore a massive hole in two Tube trains, the South London Press can reveal. A counter-terrorism source told us the device was probably left on the floor of a train leaving Aldgate East Underground station. It was operated by remote control to explode at precisely the moment another train was passing in the opposite direction. It is thought the blast - shortly before 9am - ripped through the shell of the carriage and tore a hole in the oncoming train. The casualty toll from both trains was expected to be high. Our source said: "It was utter carnage inside both trains. There were limbs scattered everywhere. We've never seen anything like this."
POLICE were yesterday probing reports a man had been "neutralised" outside Canary Wharf. It is believed the man was shot dead by police marksmen outside the Credit Suisse First Boston bank. Other unconfirmed reports suggested the attacks were the work of a co-ordinated team of suicide bombers.
At Millwall FC's Den stadium in Zampa Road, Bermondsey, a conference for London Ambulance staff was cancelled to let paramedics get to the scene of the carnage.
Source: South London Press
A Freedom of Information request to TfL by a J7 researcher asking if the train referred to in their first press release was the 235 Hammersmith & City line train received the following response:
I can confirm that train 235 was not the train referred to. Train 235 was not derailed, there was no damage to this train and no passengers were injured.
Another anomaly is contained in the account of Ross Mallinson who tells of being injured on a Circle Line train travelling in front of train 204, and describes the moment of the explosion where he sustained serious injuries. He also claims that an announcement is made at Aldgate station informing passengers that there has been a bomb on a train:
The train shrieked to a halt and everything turned to black. The next thing Ross Mallinson heard was that there had been a bomb on the line. "It was pretty dark and alarming and confusing because the (London) Tube is a bit creepy if it goes dark," he said. "But there wasn't panic. There weren't people screaming or anything." The sudden stop of the morning train on July 7 smashed his head against a glass partition, fracturing his skull and causing a blood clot to begin forming near his brain. Mr Mallinson was on his way to work as a computer programmer for an insurance company at Tower Hill when Shehzad Tanweer, 22, detonated the bomb on a train between Liverpool and Aldgate stations on the Circle Line. Minutes later, Mr Mallinson's train, also on the Circle Line, began moving again, slowly passing Aldgate station, where an announcer warned passengers that there had been a bomb on a train, probably the one directly behind Mr Mallinson's. His train continued to Tower Hill station, where two police officers carried him to the surface.
Source: The Age
If the following Trackernet images presented by Tim O'Toole are accurate, there is no Circle line train travelling in front of train 204 that hasn't reached Aldgate yet. Rather strange as well is the comment that an announcement is made at Aldgate that there had been a bomb on a train. Neither is it clear where exactly the 'oncoming train' has stopped close to train 204 that both John Simpson and Michael Henning describe.
At a press conference on July 9th, the American Managing Director of London Underground, Tim O'Toole, issued a series of Trackernet images which purport to show the trains just prior to and at the moment of the blasts. The image labels and comments are sourced from the Transport Forum:
It appears to me that 204 had the signal to enter platform 1 at Aldgate. Also 447 had the signal to head northbound. I passed the Aldgate area yesterday and Westbound 235 is sat on the North curve, in what looks like its normal stopping position, so the computer is wrong in the fact that it is showing the train passed signal OB22. Looking at Northbound 447 it appears as if its about 1/2 a car out of the platform. The train 204 would be visible from the driving cab of 447.
Source: The Transport Forum
You can see what has happened is the track circuits on all of those other lines, you can see the orange lines indicate that an event has occurred to trip out the power system. And that was almost certainly the blast. And this software allows us to confirm the timings.
Orange lines can certainly be seen in the area around Liverpool Street, Tower Hill and Aldgate East, but is this image, which was released with no time stamp on, the true image at the time of the explosion? TfL responded to a FOI request by a J7 researcher to release a time stamped image:
You have asked for a copy of the timestamp images of the train movements prior to and including the explosion dated 7 July 2005.
I can confirm that TfL does not currently hold this information. These records are currently held by the Metropolitan Police. As a result, we are not able to meet your requirements on this occasion. We will not be taking any further action on your request. However, if you require, I will pass your request onto the Metropolitan Police for their consideration under the provisions of the FOI Act. If you would like me to proceed in this way then please let me know.
J7 have asked TfL to pass the request onto the Metropolitan Police, but their track-record with responses to legitimate FOI requests by J7 researchers is less than brilliant and requests have always been refused.
The following Trackernet image, annotated with J7 compiled research data, incorporates the data from a copy of the Working Time Table, obtained by J7 via a FOI request, and strongly suggests that the time of this image is at least 4 minutes before the alleged time of the blast, and that the only train in its correct position at 8.49 is the Hammersmith & City line train 235 travelling from Aldgate East to Liverpool Street:
Other discrepancies with this image arise when comparing the positions of the trains with the records contained in the Duty Operations Manager's log for that morning. J7 researcheres obtained the Duty Manager's log via an FOI request to TfL:
Loss of traction current at Aldgate and Edgware Road, Major incident declared with explosions on trains.
08:49 Position of trains before incident
Aldgate: 432 I/R 447 O/R
Aldgate East Nth Curve 235 I/R 204 O/R
Liverpool St 211 I/R 411 O/R
Moorgate 222 I/R
Ken Murphy in this report to the BBC describes being one of the paramedics on the scene. He enters a dark tunnel from Aldgate station and sees body parts BEFORE reaching the train or the affected carriage. Quite how it was possible to see bodies in front of the affected train is not explained. Especially, as noted earlier, given that the recovery team Manager for LU, Howard Collins, claims that train 204 travelled 80 to 90 metres after the actual explosion, which would place the victims who were blown out of the carriage, even further back past the train towards Liverpool Street.
Tony Blair, whilst refusing to hold a Public Inquiry into the events of July 7th made the following statement to Parliament on 11th July 2005, a statement also contained on the Downing Street web site:
I will now try to give the House as much information as I can. Some of it is already well-known. There were four explosions. Three took place on underground trains - one between Aldgate East and Liverpool Street; one between Russell Square and Kings Cross; one in a train at Edgware Road station. All of these took place within 50 seconds of each other at 8.50 a.m.
It hardly befits the British people, the victims families and survivors for Tony Blair to give such an inaccurate account of where the explosions happened, surely it wouldn't have been difficult to know by 11th July that the train was the Liverpool Street to Aldgate train, if indeed this was the case? Such misinformation, whether by accident or design, in Blair's' statement could lead to false hope for those families and friends who were still searching for missing loved ones. An identical statement was made to the House of Lords by the leader of the Privy Council, Baroness Amos.
The idea that the train was travelling towards King's Cross, not away from it -- a factor upon which the official Home Office conspiracy theory about how 7/7 came to be is totally reliant -- is confirmed by a survivor of the attacks who was interviewed by CNN on the day of 7th July 2005. The survivor confirms that she was on a Circle Line train, Westbound, going between Aldgate Station and Liverpool Street. The survivor confirms that the train was absolutely packed, that there were lots of head and facial injuries, as well as that everyone believed that a minor incident, a power surge, had occurred. She also notes that the emergency services were present outside the station but were not allowed to enter the station. You can watch this interview by clicking 'play' below.
In a similar vein of inconsistency, on 14th July, the Metropolitan Police issue a statement recapping the incidents. The train is now reported as travelling towards Aldgate, and the device is stated as being in the third carriage, contrary to the official Home Office report that it was in the second carriage:
One week anniversary' bombings appeal 14/7/05
Explosions on three Underground trains occurred within seconds of each other at approximately 0850.
Circle Line train travelling from Liverpool Street to Aldgate station. The device was in the third carriage of a train approx. 100 yards into the tunnel.
Source: Metropolitan Police Service
How is it possible to confuse the second and third carriages on a 6-carriage train? This (mis?)information is parroted by the Centre for Contemporary Conflict:
While world leaders were meeting in Scotland, the first indication that something was amiss in England came at 8:50 a.m., when an incident on the London Underground was reported between Liverpool Street and Aldgate to the British Transport Police. It was originally thought that there were power surges given the numerous trip-switches being activated across the entire network. The power surges, however, were produced by the detonation of explosives on the third carriage of a London Underground (Tube) train leaving Aldgate Station bound for Liverpool Street Station on the Circle Line. (Train Identified as Number 204 on the Underground Electronic System.)The package contained less than ten pounds of high explosive, small enough to be easily hidden in a bag as ordinary as a backpack. Seven people were killed immediately at the Aldgate station scene with more than 100 wounded, at least ten seriously. This was the first terrorist attack on the London Underground.
The first images of a damaged train were not released by the MPS via the BBC but via America's ABC News, a US network owned by the Disney Corporation, much to the chagrin of Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner. These pictures were apparently leaked by US agents working with the Metropolitan Police Service on the investigation.
There are no eye-witness accounts of seeing Tanweer on this train. On the contrary, Bruce Lait specifically says he doesn't remember seeing anyone where the police claimed the explosion occurred. The official report does not mention CCTV evidence of Tanweer on this train either. Neither is there any evidence in the public domain showing Tanweer in London that morning. On the 12th July the Metropolitan Police issued the following information:
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.
By 14th July, Tanweer has been named and accused of responsibility for the explosion:
I can this afternoon confirm the identity of a second man who travelled from West Yorkshire and who died in the explosion at Aldgate. He was Shahzad TANWEER, aged 22.
We believe that he is responsible for carrying out the attack.
These are just some of the questions that any legitimate independent public inquiry, one held outside of the Inquiries Act 2005, should address. There are of course many more:
- First reports from TfL identify the train as a Hammersmith & City line train heading towards Liverpool Street, eye-witnesses on this train claim there was an explosion and they were held for two hours before being evacuated off and bussed away from the scene and questioned. Yet this information has never been scrutinised. Mike Brown omits any mention of this train, train 235, in his report to the Homeland Security Committee.
- First reports from the scene claim that the explosion was caused by power surges. London Underground say this wasn't a cover story and in fact fitted what they were told by the drivers and the Network Control Centre. Descriptions from survivors tell of electric shocks and flames outside the window, many of the injuries received are to feet and legs, all consistent with the effects of a power surge. Ken Livingstone tells the 7 July Review Committee that power surges can cause explosions with catastrophic effects and casualties. Two companies involved in running the transport system were involved in corporate manslaughter trials on 7th July arising from the Hatfield and Potters Bar rail crashes. If power surges were found to be the cause of these explosions this would have led to further charges of murder of the travelling public.
- An eye-witness interviewed by CNN on 7th July 2005 describes an explosion on her Circle Train travelling from Aldgate to Liverpool Street which supports the statements made on the day by Charles Clarke and also the one made by Prime Minister Tony Blair to Parliament on 11th July 2005.
- What is the reason for the failure to maintain records of the emergency service response which extends also to records of the times of arrival of the emergency services at the affected carriages of the bombed trains
- Were there in fact three trains affected in the Aldgate, Liverpool Street and Aldgate East areas of the London Underground?
- Despite Circle Line train 204 being 100 yards from Liverpool Street, even passengers in the end carriages are evacuated past the damaged carriage and the injured lying on the track, towards Aldgate. Who took this decision and why?
- The Metropolitan Police press release and recap of events a week later claim the explosion happened in the third carriage, yet the official report claims the explosion was in the second carriage. Could the references be to two different affected trains?
- Why would property belonging to Mohammed Sidique Khan be found at Aldgate when it is claimed he died in the explosion at Edgware Road. Khan's property was also found at the site of the bus explosion in Tavistock Square.
- The official report states that Tanweer is not visible on the platform CCTV images at Liverpool Street yet the report alleges he MUST have been on the train. Yet no mention is made in the report of CCTV images from the platform at King's Cross where we are told Tanweer boarded the train, nor whether he alighted at any other stations en route.
- There are no eye-witness accounts from anyone seeing Shehzad Tanweer anywhere, much less on Circle Line train 204, on the contrary, neither Bruce Lait or his partner Crystal, who both claim to be nearest the centre of the explosion, recall seeing anyone there.
- It was reported that an engineer lost a high tension power cable at Mansell Street in the Moorgate area, and that the Network Control Centre was dealing with this incident. Moorgate was identified as a site of an explosion in early news reports and by Sir Ian Blair of the Metropolitan Police Service. Yet TfL now claim there is no record of this incident.
- Eye-witness testimony from Bruce Lait, taken immediately after the incident, identifies the hole in the carriage as 'the metal was pushed upwards as if the bomb was underneath the train' and Lizzie Kenworthy describe the hole as being 'twisted upwards' and in the 'middle of the carriage' rather than the rear.
- Dr John Reid in a letter to the Edgware Road survivors in August 2006 stated that the final forensics reports from each of the sites have not yet been completed, nor have the explosives been identified. There is no reason why it should take over a year for this to be accomplished and no explanation has been offered.
- An unidentified ambulance crew report an explosion and 5 fatalities at the scene as early as 9.14am. Yet the public are not informed until 9.17 that there has been an incident at Liverpool Street and the reported story for many hours was of two fatalities.
- None of the drivers of any of the trains have been identified, interviewed or honoured. Transport workers fear dismissal if they talk to the press.
- Many questions still remain unanswered in connection to the events in New York on 11th September 2001. The Mayor of NY, Rudi Guiliani just happened to be staying in a hotel in Liverpool Street and claims he was notified when 'the first bomb went off'. Who informed him that this had been a bomb while the rest of the world was being told about 'power surges'?
- How was Benjamin Netanyahu given advanced warning to stay in his hotel and not travel to Liverpool Street where he was due to attend the joint Tel Aviv Stock Exchange / Deutsche Bank Conference? And, if Benjamin Netanyahu could be informed, why weren't Londoners also told?
- Why is there no CCTV evidence at all in the public domain that shows Shehzad Tanweer in London on 7th July 2005?