London 7/7 Bombings Memorial

Posted by admin | July 7, 2009 0

Tributes have been paid to the victims of the 7 July 2005 London bombings, at the unveiling of a permanent memorial in Hyde Park by Prince Charles today. The £1 million London Bombing Memorial is made up of 52 stainless steel pillars, each representing one of the victims. Fifty-two people died after suicide bombers detonated backpacks on board three Underground trains and a bus. The victims’ relatives at the unveiling said it was a “fitting tribute”. Architects Carmody Groarke said the 52, 3.5m (11.5ft) tall stainless steel pillars should convey the random nature of the loss of life – how it could have been anyone travelling in London that day.

Prince Charles has paid tribute to the families who lost loved ones in the 7/7 2005 London bombings, at a memorial in Hyde Park. He said that their bravery “offered us hope for the future”. Prince Charles said the date of the bombings would be etched vividly on all our minds as a brutal intrusion into the lives of thousands of people. The families of the victims, the survivors and the stout hearted emergency services remain very much in our thoughts and prayers. You are a moving example of holding together bravery in the face of such inhuman and deplorable outrage and you offer us hope for the future,” he added. bombJuly-bombings-007bombtubecarriage

The attacks by four suicide bombers on the London Transport system on 7th July 2005 were the largest mass murder in Britain in peacetime killing 52 passengers on The Tube and on the No. 30 bus at Tavistock Square and injuring 800 more, many seriously. Injured or not, and serious or not all who lived through the experience carry vivid and unsettling memories. There is a curious obscenity about suicide bombing, about the personal fascism which rationalises killing yourself and complete strangers you have first looked in the eye because you have convinced yourself it is for a greater good. There is a particular perversity, if you have religious faith, in destroying what you believe are God’s creations because you have appointed yourself as God’s representative and indeed have convinced yourself that shortly afterwards you will be personally thanked by Him.

Of the bombings the greatest loss of life was caused by a 19 year old Muslim convert living near me in Aylesbury (where he was not known to the local Muslim community) Germaine Lindsay who had married a local girl and had a young son. At 08.50 hrs a bomb exploded on Piccadilly line train number 331 travelling south from King’s Cross station to Russell Square. The device was next to the rear set of double doors in the front carriage of the train. Twenty-six people, plus the bomber, were killed. More than 340 were injured. The Piccadilly line is 21.3 metres (70 feet) below ground at this point. Intense heat of up to 60C, dust, fumes, vermin, asbestos and initial concerns the tunnel might collapse delayed the extraction of bodies and the forensic operation. Being a single track deep tube line the force of the explosion was concentrated in a smaller area accounting for the high number of deaths as well as the number and the severity of the injuries caused.

Map released by a security consultancy the day after the bombings showing the original estimates of the timings (they were later revised) and the death toll then. More died later in hospital.

Map released by a security consultancy the day after the bombings showing the original estimates of the timings (they were later revised) and the death toll then. More died later in hospital.

The 7 July 2005 London bombings (also known as the 7/7 bombings) were a series of coordinated suicide bomb attacks on London’s public transport system during the morning rush hour. The bombings were carried out by 4 British Muslim men who were motivated by Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War. At 08:50, three bombs exploded within fifty seconds of each other on three London Underground trains. A fourth bomb exploded on a bus nearly an hour later at 09:47 in Tavistock Square. The explosions were caused by home-made organic peroxide-based devices, packed into rucksacks. The devices were almost certainly detonated manually by the bombers themselves in intentional suicide attacks.

The first bomb exploded on an eastbound Circle Line sub-surface Underground train, number 204, travelling between Liverpool Street and Aldgate. The train had left King’s Cross St. Pancras about eight minutes earlier. At the time of the explosion, the third carriage of the train was approximately 100 yards (90 m) down the tunnel from Liverpool Street. The parallel track of the Hammersmith and City Line from Liverpool Street to Aldgate East was also damaged.

The second bomb exploded on the second carriage of a westbound Circle Line sub-surface Underground train, number 216. The train had just left platform 4 at Edgware Road and was heading for Paddington. The train had left King’s Cross St. Pancras about eight minutes earlier. There were several other trains nearby at the time of the explosion. An eastbound Circle Line train (arriving at platform 3 at Edgware Road from Paddington) was passing next to the train and was damaged, along with a wall that later collapsed. There were two other trains at Edgware Road: an unidentified train on platform 2, and an eastbound Hammersmith & City Line train that had just arrived at platform 1.

Mobile photo image of commuters trapped underground on the Piccadilly Line

Mobile photo image of commuters trapped underground on the Piccadilly Line

The third bomb exploded on a southbound Piccadilly Line deep-level Underground train, number 311 travelling between King’s Cross St. Pancras and Russell Square. The bomb exploded about one minute after the train left King’s Cross, by which time it had travelled about 500 yards (450 m). The explosion took place at the rear of the first carriage of the train (car no 166), causing severe damage to the rear of that carriage, as well as the front of the second one. The surrounding tunnel also sustained damage.

Tavistock Square bus bomb 

Tavistock Square bus bomb 

The fourth bomb exploded in Tavistock Square on the No. 30 a Dennis Trident 2 double-decker bus, fleet number 17758, registration LX03BUF, two years in service at the time, operated by Stagecoach London Stratford (SD) depot, travelling its route from Marble Arch to Hackney Wick. Earlier, the bus had passed through the King’s Cross area as it travelled from Hackney Wick to Marble Arch. At Marble Arch, the bus turned around and started the return route from Marble Arch to Hackney Wick. It left Marble Arch at 09:00 a.m. and arrived at Euston bus station at 09:35 a.m., where crowds of people had been evacuated from the tube and were boarding buses. The explosion ripped the roof off the top deck of the vehicle and destroyed the back of the bus. Witnesses reported seeing “half a bus flying through the air”. The detonation took place close to the British Medical Association building on Upper Woburn Place, and a number of doctors in or near the building were able to provide immediate emergency medical assistance. Boms_july_2005_Waterloo_station

The 5th anniversary of the 7/7 bombings A injured victim outside Edgware Road station after the terrorist attack that halted London's transport system, injured and killed many commuters London, England - 07.07.05 Credit: (Mandatory)  Nigel Hine  WENN

Credit: Nigel Hine WENN

The bombings killed 52 people and the four bombers, injured 700, and caused disruption of the city’s transport system (severely for the first day) and the country’s mobile telecommunications infrastructure. The series of explosions constituted the largest and deadliest terrorist attack on London’s transit system in history.

The effects of the bombs are thought to have varied due to the differing characteristics of the tunnels. The Circle Line is a “cut and cover” sub-surface tunnel, about 7 m (21 ft) deep. Because the tunnel contains two parallel tracks, it is relatively wide. The two explosions on this line were probably able to vent their force into the tunnel, reducing their destructive force.

The Piccadilly Line is a deep tunnel, up to 30 m (100 ft) underground, with narrow (3.5 m, or 11 ft) single-track tubes and just 15 cm (6 in) clearances. This narrow space reflected the blast force, concentrating its effect.

The bombers on CCTV at Luton Railway Station on their way into London on the morning of 7/7

The bombers on CCTV at Luton Railway Station on their way into London on the morning of 7/7

The following men carried out the attacks:

Mohammad Sidique Khan (30) – Edgware Road Tube 8:50 a.m. Lived in Dewsbury with his heavily pregnant wife and young child. (Hasina Patel miscarried August 2005).

Shehzad Tanweer (22) – Aldgate Tube 8:50 a.m. Lived in Leeds with his mother and father working in a fish-and-chip shop.

Germaine Lindsay (19) – Russell Square 8:50 a.m. Lived in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire with his pregnant wife.

Hasib Hussain (18) – Tavistock Square 9:47 a.m. Lived in Leeds with his brother Imran and sister-in-law Shazia.

A representative of the bereaved families’ group said: “The memorial is a fitting tribute, honouring the 52 lives lost on 7 July 2005, ensuring that the world will never forget them. It represents the enormity of our loss, both on a personal and public level. “We hope this memorial will speak to visitors so they can understand the impact of these horrific events.” It is located between the park’s Lover’s Walk and Park Lane. The stelae are grouped to represent those killed in each of the four sites. Thanks to the open casting process used to make the columns, with molten stainless-steel being poured into sand moulds, each one has a unique finish.

Location of 7/7 Memorial

Location of 7/7 Memorial

But the memorial is only part of bringing closure to the many affected by these cruel and heartless bombings. A full open public enquiry into the bombings has long been a demand of the families and others involved. As Rachel North (See Rachel from North London in my Blog Roll) wrote in the Times on the 18th December 2005;

“The attack on the Tube trains and the buses that summer morning was an attack on all of us, anyone who lives and works and travels in this busy, bustling city. About 3,000 people were directly affected: 52 died, hundreds were injured and thousands hurt in a way that cannot be seen from the outside. “

Bombed Aldgate Tube Train

Bombed Aldgate Tube Train

“The public were the targets, not politicians or those in power. Ordinary people continue to feel they are the targets of terror attacks, every time they use public transport.”

“But there is also anger at the perceived lack of help, suspicion about what the government may be trying to hide and frustration that despite repeated claims from politicians that they speak “for the victims”, victims’ voices are not being heard.”

“If the government feels the threat of terrorism is so great that it needs to introduce laws that severely compromise our civil liberties, why does it feel that it is not worth a public inquiry?” asks Kirsty Morrison. “Laws will not stop this from happening again. Understanding why it happened might just begin to.”

The redoubtable Rachel expands further in her Blog;

“It’s not about blame, or politics, I say, it is about saving lives. I truthfully don’t think all the lessons of 7th July have been learned and shared amongst all the agencies and people who need to prepare for and respond to disasters and terror attacks – which include the public itself. And until the learning’s are shared, as publicly as possible without compromising the safety of the realm, how can the public feel any safer than they did on 7th July?”

A victim being led away

“I would love to step away from the devastation of 7th July that still haunts my dreams. Campaigning for answers is not something I do to bring “closure”; it is tiring and it is hard work. But I strongly believe that it is the right thing to do. I couldn’t help the people who died and were hurt on the train but I can try to help people now, to tell what happened so that people can learn from it, understand, and be safer.”

Coincidentally, the most far-ranging parliamentary inquiry into the 7 July bombings and other terrorist incidents in Britain was also launched by MPs today. MI5 and MI6 chiefs, as well as terrorism experts, will be asked to give evidence to the Commons home affairs committee. As a monument to the victims was unveiled in Hyde Park on the fourth anniversary of the London bombings, MPs said the Tube remains “extremely vulnerable” to attack and warned against complacency.bombings_trainremoval

The inquiry will re-examine what security services knew before 7/7, what should have been done and the Government’s response — including the emergency Cobra committee. MPs will assess any “common threads” between 7 July, the failed bombings on 21 July and other terrorist incidents. These include the Crevice case, which saw five men jailed for life for an al Qaeda-linked bomb plot whose targets included a nightclub and shopping centre. Some of the Crevice plotters met two of the 7 July suicide bombers. The inquiry will re-open questions over the report by the intelligence and security committee, which cleared MI5 and the police of blame for 7/7, despite new evidence revealing their knowledge of some of the bombers. bombexpress

Emergency services at King's Cross

Emergency services at King’s Cross


The ISC said it was “understandable and reasonable” that the terrorists had not been detected before the attacks, in which 52 people were murdered by four suicide bombers. But survivors and victims’ relatives dismissed it as “a complete whitewash”. Members of the security and intelligence services may be more guarded with MPs on the home affairs committee. So while the inquiry will be more wide-ranging, it may have more difficulty obtaining information. Another focus of the inquiry will be the Cobra committee after Andy Hayman; the former head of Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism operations, recently described it as “a nonsensical system”. Mr Hayman was at Cobra meetings during the London bombings.

See; Bend it like Andy

The former counter-terrorism chief criticised Cobra as too bureaucratic, overly political and cumbersome. Tory MP Patrick Mercer, a member of the home affairs committee, said: “This will be the biggest inquiry into July 7 and terrorist incidents in Britain.” Mr Mercer chaired a home affairs sub-committee whose report on the Government’s Contest counter-terrorism strategy was published today.

While praising the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism, the committee issued warnings over measures to protect the Tube and the 2012 Olympics in London.

Perhaps I should leave the final word to Rachel North describing the actions of the Piccadilly Line train driver on the 7th July;


Edgware Road

Edgware Road

“The train driver stayed behind on his train and once the front of carriage one, where I was, was cleared of frightened passengers, he was able to walk into the horrific aftermath of Europe’s most deadly suicide bomb attack. He has never spoken publicly of what he did, what he saw. But I know now how he stayed for nearly two hours, trying to save lives. I dare not imagine what it was like. I wish I had known how many were hurt. I wish I had been able to help them.”

These are the ordinary Londoners and visitors whose lives were cruelly destroyed on the 7th July 2005. These are the people who are missed by sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and partners of all races and religions. They were innocents going about their everyday lives and represent the diversity and dynamism of this great World City. The bombers looked them in the eye and decided their lives were not important. Londoner’s in their refusal to be cowed by the bombings have effectively said these were important lives, lives that cast a real shadow and count. The memorial in Hyde Park is a tangible reminder that we will not forget and that diversity and tolerance are what makes London special.

King’s Cross bomb

Tube staff paying tribute to the victims at Russell Square Station on the 1st anniversary

Tube staff paying tribute to the victims at Russell Square Station on the 1st anniversary

James Adams, 32, a mortgage broker who was travelling from his home in Peterborough to London through King’s Cross from where he called his mother.

Samantha Badham, 35, had taken the Tube with her partner, Lee Harris. The couple usually cycled to work but caught the Tube because they were planning a romantic dinner to celebrate their 14th anniversary.

Lee Harris, 30, an architect who died after receiving treatment at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London. His partner, Samantha Badham, also died in the attacks.

Phil Beer, 22, a hair stylist, was on his way to work at the Sanrizz salon in Knightsbridge with his best friend, Patrick Barnes, who was injured.

Anna Brandt, 41, a Polish cleaner living in Wood Green. She had 2 daughters.

Ciaran Cassidy, 24, of Upper Holloway, north London, on his way to his job as a shop assistant for a printing company in Chancery Lane. He was a keen Arsenal fan.

Elizabeth Daplyn, 26, an administrator at University College Hospital in London, left home in Highgate with her partner, Rob Brennan, before taking a Piccadilly Line train.

Arthur Edlin Frederick, 60, from Grenada, living in Seven Sisters, north London, on his way to work at the Victoria and Albert Museum. bombjuly-7-london-resolution

Karolina Gluck, 29, from Poland, said goodbye to boyfriend, Richard Deer, 28, at 08:30. The IT consultant was travelling from Finsbury Park to Russell Square.

Gamze Günoral, 24, a Turkish student, left her aunt’s house in north London to catch the tube to go to her language college in Hammersmith.

Ojara Ikeagwu, 55, a married mother-of-three from Luton, was on her way to Hounslow where she worked as a social worker.

Emily Jenkins, 24, from Richmond. Having just returned to the UK from Australia, she was waiting to hear whether she had been successful in her application to become a midwife, on the day she was killed.

Adrian Johnson, 37, a keen golfer and hockey-player with two young children. He was on his way to work at the Burberry fashion house in Haymarket where he was a product technical manager.

Helen Jones, 28, a Scottish (London-based) accountant who had previously escaped death in 1988 when wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed upon Lockerbie. Her family, from Chapelknowe, Dumfries and Galloway, said: “Helen will live on in the hearts of her family and her many, many friends”.

Susan Levy, 53, from Cuffley in Hertfordshire, the mother of Daniel, 25, and James, 23. She had just said goodbye to her younger son.

Shelley Mather, 26, from New Zealand, a tour manager with Contiki Tours.

Forensic investigators on the bombed Piccadilly Line train between King's Cross and Russell Square

Forensic investigators on the bombed Piccadilly Line train between King’s Cross and Russell Square

Michael Matsushita, 37, left his fiancée, Rosie Cowen, 28, at the couple’s flat in Islington for his second day at work as a tour guide. He had lived in New York at the time of the 9/11 attack.

James Mayes, 28, worked as an analyst for the Healthcare Commission and had just returned from a holiday in Prague. He was heading from his home in Barnsbury to an ‘away day’ at Lincoln’s Inn and was thought to be travelling by Tube via King’s Cross.

Behnaz Mozakka, 47, an Iranian biomedical records officer from Finchley who worked at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital.

Mihaela Otto, 46, from Romania, known as Michelle. A dental technician from Mill Hill, North London. bombCasualties-

Atique Sharifi, 24, an Afghan national who was living in Hounslow, Middlesex.

Ihab Slimane, a 24-year-old I.T. graduate from Lyon, France, who was working as a waiter at a restaurant near Piccadilly Circus, was said by friends to have caught a Tube from Finsbury Park.

Christian ‘Njoya’ Small, 28, an advertising salesman from Walthamstow, east London.

Monika Suchocka, 23, originally from Dąbrówka Malborska, in northern Poland, arrived in London two months earlier to start work as a trainee accountant in West Kensington. A flatmate named Kim Phillip said whilst she was still missing: “This is her first time in London and she is really enjoying the excitement of it all”.

Mala Trivedi, 51, from Wembley was manager of the X-ray department at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital.

Rachelle Chung For Yuen, 27, an accountant from Mill Hill, north London, who was originally from Mauritius.

Edgware Road bomb

Michael Stanley Brewster, 52, a father of two who was travelling to work from Derby. He died in the arms of fellow passengers who tried to help.

Jonathan Downey, 34, an HR systems development officer with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea from Milton Keynes, had just said goodbye to his wife at Euston .

David Foulkes, 22, a media sales worker from Oldham, Greater Manchester, was on his way to meet a colleague. It was his first ever journey on the London Tube network.

Colin Morley, 52, of Finchley, marketing consultant. He was originally from Crosby, Liverpool.

Jenny Nicholson, 24, daughter of a Bristol vicar, who had just started work at a music company in London

Laura Webb, 29, from Islington, a PA. Laura was the youngest of three children.

Aldgate bomb

Lee Baisden, 34, an accountant from Romford who was going to work at the London Fire Brigade.

Benedetta Ciaccia, 30, an Italian-born business analyst from Norwich. One of three sisters, she was due to marry her Muslim partner in a ceremony which was to have joint Catholic and Muslim rites.

Richard Ellery, 21, was travelling from his home in Ipswich to his job in the Jessop’s store in Kensington, via Liverpool Street Station. He texted his parents, Beverley and Trevor, at 8.30am to say he was on his way to work.

Richard Gray, 41, a father of two young children, who worked as a tax manager. He was from Ipswich. At the remembrance service for the victims of the bombings in November 2005, Richard’s daughter, Ruby, was chosen to present a posy to the Queen.

Anne Moffat, 48, from Harlow in Essex, who was head of marketing and communications for Girl guiding UK.

Fiona Stevenson, 29, a solicitor who lived at the Barbican, London. Her parents, Ivan and Eimar, of Little Baddow, Essex, described her as “irreplaceable”.

Carrie Taylor, a 24-year-old graduate from Billericay, Essex. June Taylor, her mother, said: “We have a little farewell ritual. Carrie gives me a kiss goodbye”. The day before the bombings, she had written on the bare plastered wall of her parents kitchen (which was about to be redecorated) ‘Carrie Louise Taylor, 6/7/05, we got the 2012 Olympic Games on this day’.

Tavistock Square bus bomb

Anthony Fatayi-Williams, 26, a Nigerian-born executive with an oil and gas company based in Old Street, had been living in the UK for eight years.

Jamie Gordon, 30, from Enfield, worked for City Asset Management and was engaged to be married to his girlfriend Yvonne Nash.

Giles Hart, 55, a BT engineer from Hornchurch and father-of-two, was travelling to Angel via Aldgate.

Marie Hartley, 34, from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, was in London on a course. She was a mother of two young sons.

Miriam Hyman, 32, from Barnet, North London, a picture researcher. She had spoken to her father by phone after being evacuated from King’s Cross station and reassured him that she was all right.

Shahara Akther Islam, 20, from Plaistow, East London, a bank cashier who lived with her parents, and was both fully Westernised and a devout Muslim. Shahara was of Bangladeshi origin, she was the eldest of three children, her parents having moved from Sylhet, Bangladesh to the UK in 1965.

Neetu Jain, 37, was evacuated from Euston and caught the bus to take her to work as a computer analyst. Ms Jain was planning to move in with her boyfriend, Gous Ali.

Sam Ly, 28, from Melbourne, died at the National Hospital of Neurology – the only fatality of ten Australians caught in the bombing. BombsRussell_square_ambulances

Shyanuja Parathasangary, 30, a post office worker travelling from Kensal Rise to Alder Street.

Anat Rosenberg, 39, an Israeli-born charity worker who called her boyfriend to tell him she was on the Number 30 bus moments before the blast. John Falding, 62, her boyfriend, said: “She was afraid of going back to Israel because she was scared of suicide bombings on buses”.

Philip Russell, a 28-year-old finance worker at JP Morgan who lived at Kennington in South-East London.

William Wise, 54, an IT specialist at Equitas Holdings in St Mary Axe.

Gladys Wundowa, 50, from Ilford in Essex, a cleaner at University College London. She had finished her shift and was heading to a college course in Shoreditch. Her body was taken to her homeland of Ghana for burial.

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