7/7 victims 'might have been saved'

Image caption,
Mohammad Sidique Khan detonated his device near Edgware Road Tube station in 2005

Victims of the 7 July bombing at Edgware Road could have been saved if paramedics had arrived sooner, a rescuer has told the inquests.

Suhel Boodi, who had no first aid training, attempted mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on Laura Webb, 29, who died of her injuries.

He said no help arrived until 0930 GMT. The bomb exploded at about 0850 GMT.

On Tuesday, the train's driver said he tried to get help but was repeatedly told it was a "power surge".

The inquests into the 52 deaths in 2005 are expected to take up to five months.

Mr Boodi said he stood by his statement that "people's lives could have been saved if the paramedics had come quicker".

He added in the statement: "There were lots of people at the station. I just thought they should be helping people on the train."

Mr Boodi had been travelling in the carriage next to the one blown up by suicide bomber Mohammed Sidique Khan.

After the blast he went to the bombed carriage which "looked like a war zone", the inquest heard.

Passengers watching from a train that had stopped alongside the bombed one gave him directions through gestures, he said.

"I scanned the second carriage and I saw (the woman) looked like she was breathing, she was on her last breaths.

"There was a carriage across from where she was. I saw people banging on the window, making mouth-to-mouth kind of signs. I have never done first aid in my life but I had seen it on TV."

Desperate calls

But Mr Boodi said he realised quickly that Miss Webb would not survive.

"I was trying my best. She was motionless but I could feel she was breathing.

"While I was doing it the lady in the other carriage was giving me instructions, showing me how to do it, not by words but by expressions."

Lawyer Neil Saunders, representing Ms Webb's family, thanked him for trying to help her.

He said: "You had no training, you did your best under the direction of those who were also trying and the family would like to thank you for your efforts."

Coroner Lady Justice Hallett also praised him, saying: "One of the most impressive things we've learnt during the course of the inquest is how fellow passengers went to see what they could do to answer those cries for help and as you described it, went into a war zone."

Tube driver Jeffrey Porter, whose train stopped alongside the bombed one, also gave evidence to the inquest.

He compared the sight of the bomb ripping through the other train to a scene from an Indiana Jones film.

"In the second car I could see a sort of orange ball that seemed to expand and get bigger and bigger," he said.

"As it reached its maximum extent it suddenly went dark and I heard a noise like a huge whooshing of wind and screaming."

The inquest heard he made three calls for help on the Tube radio system and was only aware his request had got through on the third occasion.

'Power surge'

A new radio system has been introduced since the bombings, enabling London Underground staff to communicate with each other anywhere in the network.

The driver of the bombed train, Ray Whitehurst, previously told the inquest that he and a colleague made a total of four calls for help to London Underground operators, telling them a bomb had exploded on the train near Edgware Road and medical assistance was needed.

But the inquests heard they kept getting the same answer and at one stage they even appeared to have been hung up on.

The Tube driver said: "I informed the signalman a bomb had gone off on my train and he said 'no, it's all right, don't worry about it, it's only a power surge'.

"I asked (him) to inform emergency services and get me assistance down there and told him that the second carriage just didn't seem to exist any more."

CLICKABLE Find out more about the victims of the Edgware Road bomb attack.

Laura Webb Jonathan Downey Colin William Morley Jennifer Vanda Nicholson Michael Stanley Brewster David Graham Foulkes Laura Webb Jonathan Downey Colin William Morley Jennifer Vanda Nicholson Micheal Stanley Brewster David Graham Foulkes

Laura Webb

Age: 29

Laura Webb

Ms Webb was from Islington in north London and worked as a personal assistant with DDB Europe, an advertising company, based in Paddington. Witness statements indicate that she survived for a short period after the explosion, despite being the second closest to the bomber. A number of passengers tried in vain to save her and to maintain her circulation, with the help of other commuters who shouted instructions.
Read full obituary

Jonathan Downey

Age: 34

Jonathan Downey

Mr Downey lived in Milton Keynes and worked in human resources for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, one of the capital's main councils. He and his wife had taken the same train to Euston before parting. His widow said he "lived life to the full and enjoyed the day for the day".
Read full obituary

Colin William Morley

Age: 52

Colin William Morley

Mr Morley, a married father of three, was a marketing consultant who used his skills to help charities use the strength of their brands for social good. He was found lying near the body of David Foulkes and the evidence suggests that he was killed in the immediate explosion. Mr Morley's wife later wrote that her husband was so dedicated to helping others that he left "a most magical beautiful light" wherever he went.
Read full obituary

Jennifer Vanda Nicholson

Age: 24

Jennifer Vanda Nicholson

Miss Nicholson was standing by the carriage doors and was blown out of the train by the force of the explosion. The talented musician, who commuted daily from Reading, was working for a specialist music publisher when she was killed. Miss Nicholson did not usually take the train she boarded that day. Problems on her usual line led her to take the Circle Line instead. The evidence suggests she was killed instantly.
Read full obituary

Michael Stanley Brewster

Age: 52

Michael Stanley Brewster

Michael Brewster, known as Stan, was married with two children. The senior project engineer for Derbyshire County Council had been in London for a conference. Fellow passengers made considerable efforts to try save him at the scene, but he succumbed to his injuries. Mr Brewster's family spent a week searching London for him, until police confirmed he was one of the victims.
Read full obituary

David Graham Foulkes

Age: 22

David Graham Foulkes

Mr Foulkes, from Oldham, was a media sales manager for the Guardian newspaper, based in Manchester, where he lived with his parents and sister. He was making plans to move in with his girlfriend, Stephanie Reid, and she and his family said he was enjoying life and his career. Mr Foulkes was in London for a meeting with a colleague. The evidence indicates he was killed instantly.
Read full obituary

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