7 July London bombings

On 7 July 2005, four suicide bombers attacked central London, killing 52 people and injuring hundreds more. It was one of the worst terrorist atrocities in Britain. The coroner at the inquests into those deaths has now ruled the victims were unlawfully killed. To find out more about the bombings, explore the timelines below. They tell the story of the attacks on Aldgate, Edgware Road, Russell Square and Tavistock Square as well as the emergency response.

CLICKABLE Explore the day's events with the top timeline and the emergency response with the bottom four

  • Key event
  • Explosion

0400: Three bombers leave Yorkshire

Left: An image of the interior of a room with a table and chair and various pieces of apparatus in view. Right: A security camera image timestamped at 0359:33 and showing a small car turning a corner.

Mohammad Sidique Khan, 30, Shehzad Tanweer, 22, and 18-year-old Hasib Hussain leave West Yorkshire in a rented blue Nissan Micra bound for Luton. They were renting a flat in Alexandra Grove, Leeds, and had turned the property into a "bomb-making factory". Earlier preparation was carried out at a second address in Chapeltown Road.

0453: Bombers buy petrol

Security camera image showing two figures on either side of a shop counter. The figure behind the shop counter is blurred.

The three bombers are caught on CCTV at a service station at Woodall on the M1 buying petrol, Ginsters cheese and onion pasties, crisps and lemon-flavoured mineral water. Tanweer, the driver, fills up the vehicle and pays for the goods, while Hussain sits in the front seat and Khan in the back.

0505: Fourth bomber arrives at Luton

Left: Security camera image with an arrow indicating a car. Right: Security camera image showing a man on foot.

The fourth bomber, Germaine Lindsay, 19, who lived in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, arrives at Luton train station in Bedfordshire in a maroon Fiat Brava. A parking attendant later sees him asleep in the front seat. He exchanges phone calls and text messages with Khan.

0651: Men meet at station

Security camera image with circles indicating two cars.

Khan, Tanweer and Hussain arrive at Luton train station car park. They meet up with Lindsay and the four men are seen by witnesses opening the boots of their cars (circled above) and getting out rucksacks before heading towards the station building. Police later found nail bombs in the rented Nissan Micra.

0720: Four bombers head for trains

Security camera image with arrows indicating two men carrying rucksacks.

The four bombers, carrying their rucksacks full of explosives, leave Luton station car park to head for the trains and are caught on CCTV. Records suggest they passed through the barriers between 0722 and 0723 using three-day return tickets.

0724: Men catch train

Security camera image with arrows indicating four individuals carrying rucksacks among a crowd on a train station platform.

The four men, still carrying their rucksacks, catch the delayed 0723 Bedford to Brighton train bound for London King's Cross Thameslink from platform one. They are seen on board the train by witness Ben Leech, who described them as smiling, laughing and generally looking relaxed.

0823: Bombers enter Underground

Security camera image with arrows indicating two individuals among people descending a staircase.

The bombers arrive at King's Cross Thameslink on the delayed train, which should have arrived at 0759. The four men walk together along the platform before heading down the stairs towards the Underground.

0826: Bombers split up ahead of attacks

Security camera image with arrows indicating four individuals.

CCTV images at King's Cross station show the four men together for the last time. They are seen splitting up, each one apparently going towards a different section of the London Underground. Witness Joseph Martoccia described the men as acting like they were in a sports team and "in really good spirits" before they split up.

0838: Tanweer gets on Tube

Still image of Tanweer addressing the camera in a home-made video

Shehzad Tanweer, a sports science graduate, boards an eastbound Circle Line train.

0842: Khan gets on Tube

Still image of Khan addressing the camera in a home-made video

Mohammad Sidique Khan, the plot ringleader, gets on a westbound Circle Line train.

0848: Lindsay gets on Tube

Photo of Lindsay

Germaine Lindsay, a former carpet-fitter, boards a westbound Piccadilly Line train.

0849: Three bombs explode on Underground

Security camera image showing people on a tube platform

Tanweer sets off his bomb between Liverpool Street and Aldgate stations on the eastbound Circle Line, killing seven. Khan, on a westbound Circle Line train, detonates his rucksack between Edgware Road and Paddington, killing six. Lindsay, on a packed westbound Piccadilly Line train, sets off his bomb between King's Cross and Russell Square, killing 26. CCTV footage shows smoke billowing from the tunnel at Liverpool Street station.

0852: 'There's people on the track'

After a series of phone calls reporting a loss of power, London Underground receives the first reports of explosions at Liverpool Street and Edgware Road. A minute later the supervisor at Aldgate, Celia Harrison, tells the control room there are people on the track. She is told British Transport Police (BTP) will be informed.

0854: Hussain leaves King's Cross

Security camera image of Hussain in a shop

As the tube network becomes paralysed, Hussain, the only bomber not to board a train, is seen leaving King's Cross station. He heads east before visiting a Boots shop, from which he then exits a moment or two later. He tries to contact each of his friends on a mobile phone. He gets no reply.

0859: 'We don't think it's terrorist'

London Underground continues to receive calls about a variety of incidents across the network. During the next 20 minutes there is a great deal of confusion about what is happening. There are reports of a train derailment and a person under a train at Edgware Road, a loud bang at Russell Square and an emergency at Aldgate. They say a blown power cable could be to blame and later that it is not thought to be terror related.

0900: Hussain buys battery

Security camera image of Hussain

Hussain, who has apparently experienced problems with his bomb, buys a nine-volt battery from a WH Smith shop at King's Cross station where he is seen rummaging around in his rucksack. He is then caught on CCTV wandering along Euston Road before heading to McDonald's for eight minutes.

0913: Tube emergency declared

Security camera image of people queuing

A "code amber" network emergency is declared by the Underground's control room instructing trains to go to the nearest, safe, available platform. A further instruction was sent at 0940 to begin evacuating an estimated 200,000 passengers from more than 500 trains.

0924: Last CCTV sighting of Hussain

Security camera image of Hussain walking

Hussain is last seen by CCTV walking east towards Gray's Inn Road, near King's Cross. It is believed that he then took a number 91 bus westbound from Gray's Inn Road to Euston where he boarded a number 30 bus to Old Street.

0929: Police confirm 'major incident'

Image showing emergency services staff and vehicles and members of the public at a police cordon

The Metropolitan Police confirm they are dealing with a major incident in London, but say it is too early to know what has happened. Until then, the official line had been that there had been "power surges" on the Underground.

0947: Hussain detonates his bomb on bus

Image of Tavistock Square

Hussain triggers his device on a crowded number 30 double-decker bus in Tavistock Square, near King's Cross, killing 13 people. Video footage shows smoke emerging from the bus and people dashing from the scene. The vehicle comes to a standstill outside the British Medical Association and many of the victims are treated by doctors in the building's courtyard.

1021: Police confirm 'multiple explosions'

Image of a number of people, some standing on the wreckage of a bus, other standing nearby.

Scotland Yard says there have been "multiple explosions" in London. Minutes later British Transport Police confirm there has been an explosion on a bus in Tavistock Square.

1053: Public transport suspended

Image of a wounded person being assisted

In one of the first public statements by officials, Home Secretary Charles Clarke says "dreadful incidents" have caused "terrible injuries" and confirms London's public transport has been suspended. He says Prime Minister Tony Blair has been informed and advises the public in London not to make unnecessary journeys.

1055: Motorists told not to enter London

Image of a man and two women, one with signs of facial injury

As officials begin to understand the scale of what has happened, central London is declared a no-go area and all services within zone one are suspended. Transport for London says extra safety checks are being undertaken on all other buses that remain in service. It also announces that the congestion charge has been suspended and advises drivers not to enter the centre of the capital.

1115: 'Confusing situation'

More than two hours after the first blasts, London's Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, tells a news conference he knows of "about six explosions" but 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.

1125: First deaths confirmed

An image of people transporting a person on a stretcher

The first reports confirming deaths in the blasts emerge. A police spokesman says there are at least two fatalities. The president of the European Parliament, Josep Borrell, goes on to blame terrorism for a "co-ordinated series of attacks".

1205: Blair speaks of 'series of attacks'

Image of Tony Blair. George W Bush is visible in the background.

Prime Minister Tony Blair, breaking off from the G8 summit in Gleneagles, says there has been "a series of terrorist attacks in London". He confirms people have died and that some are seriously injured. "It is reasonably clear this is designed and timed to coincide with the opening of the G8", he says, adding that he will return to London within hours.

1210: Al-Qaeda claims responsibility

BBC Monitoring locates a website linked to al-Qaeda with a 200-word statement saying it carried out the bombings. "The heroic mujahideen have carried out a blessed raid in London," it says. The organisation calls itself the Secret Organisation Group of al-Qaeda of Jihad Organisation in Europe. The group was previously unknown.

1255: Four bombings confirmed

Image of police at a cordoned area around the bus wreckage

Home Secretary Charles Clarke tells the House of Commons that four explosions have been confirmed, three on trains and a fourth on a bus (shown above). "We do not know who or what organisations are responsible for these terrible criminal acts," he says. He confirms that the Underground will remain closed all day.

1325: Blair flies to London

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair leaves Gleneagles summit in a Chinook helicopter. Minutes later US President George W Bush, speaking at the Gleneagles summit, condemns the attacks, saying that the blasts show the war on terror must continue.

1500: Bus services resume

London's bus services are reinstated but the Underground remains closed. By 1700, most bus routes are up and running again, but Transport for London advises passengers to allow considerable extra time for their homeward journeys.

1525: Thirty-three confirmed dead

Police confirm that at least 33 people have been killed in the blasts. They say at least seven were killed in an explosion near Aldgate East station, another 21 died on a tube train in the Kings Cross/Russell Square area, and five were killed in a blast at Edgware Road. It is not yet known how many died on the bus in Tavistock Square, they say.

1530: Blair pledges justice

Prime Minister Tony Blair goes straight into a meeting of the government's emergency Cabinet Office Briefing Room A committee (Cobra) and later promises to bring those responsible to justice. He insists that in the face of these attacks, the British people remain resolute.

1531: Police 'keeping open mind'

Another news conference is held. Police confirm there have been four blasts. They later say they are "keeping an open mind as to who the perpetrators might be". However, in the days and weeks that followed, it is confirmed that a total of 52 people lost their lives that day, and that Mohammad Sidique Khan, Shehzad Tanweer, Germaine Lindsay and Hasib Hussain were responsible for the attacks.

Emergency services response at Aldgate

0849 - Emergency services alerted

British Transport Police receive a call from London Underground about a "loud bang" at Liverpool Street (call wrongly logged as 0847)


Tracks are tripped between Aldgate and Moorgate.


London Ambulance Service made aware of a report of an explosion at Liverpool Street

0855 - First police arrive

The first British Transport Police officer arrives at the scene


Met Police request fire crews at Aldgate

0900 - First fire crew arrives

A British Transport Police officer tries to report a major incident and requests ambulances (wrongly logged as 0857). London Fire Brigade arrives at the scene


An ambulance arrives at Liverpool Street and is diverted to Aldgate. London Fire Brigade reports a suspected bomb


London Fire Brigade declares a major incident


British Transport Police declare a major incident


Transport for London begins to evacuate the Underground

0914 - First ambulance arrives

First ambulance crew arrives at the scene at Aldgate


The first Met Police officers arrive at the scene


London Ambulance Service declares a major incident


A Multi Agency Initial Assessment Team - established to respond to major incidents - arrives at Aldgate


Last injured passenger evacuated


The last casualty removed

Emergency services response at Edgware Road


An explosion is reported to Transport for London on a train on the Circle Line

0854 - Emergency services alerted

British Transport Police say there are reports of "loud bangs" at Aldgate and Edgware Road


London Fire Brigade is asked to attend an incident at Praed Street, close to Edgware Road Tube station, but the wrong location


London Ambulance Service is asked to attend Praed Street


The Underground control centre informs the ambulance service they are wanted at Aldgate, Liverpool Street and Edgware Road. The Edgware Road station manager says he believes it is a terrorist incident and requires emergency services


A fire crew arrives at Praed Street


London Fire Brigade receives a call to attend Edgware Road


A London Ambulance Service fast-response unit arrives at Praed Street

0912 - First police arrive

The first Met Police officers arrive at the scene. A London Ambulance Service ambulance arrives at Praed Street

0913 - First ambulance arrives

Transport for London activates a "code amber" to evacuate the Underground. The first ambulance arrives at Edgware Road

0918 - First fire crew arrives

A London Fire Brigade crew arrives at the scene


A London Ambulance Service crew informs the control room they are running out of resources


The ambulance service declares a major incident


Met police declare a major incident


London Fire Brigade declares a major incident


Scene is cleared of live casualties

Emergency services response at Russell Square


Bomb explodes between King's Cross and Russell Square


British Transport Police and Underground staff are made aware of a massive power failure


The Underground's control room is aware of explosions at Liverpool Street, Edgware Road and "somewhere else"

0856 - Emergency services alerted

Met Police are alerted to an incident at King's Cross by CCTV images

0858 - First police arrive

A British Transport Police inspector declares a major incident. He wrongly states London Ambulance Service has been called


London Fire Brigade receives a 999 call about smoke emerging from Euston Square tube station


London Ambulance Service receives a call from British Transport Police reporting a train stuck in a tunnel and passengers with smoke inhalation problems


The first fire crew arrives at Euston Square - not where passengers are emerging

0913 - First fire crew arrives

The first fire crew arrives at King's Cross

0914 - First ambulance arrives

A London Ambulance Service fast response unit arrives at King's Cross


Met Police declare a major incident


The first call is made to the ambulance service requesting ambulances at Russell Square


The first ambulance arrives at King's Cross


Ambulance crews on the ground declare a major incident at King's Cross


The ambulance service's fast response unit arrives at Russell Square


The first ambulance arrives at Russell Square


A paramedic declares a major incident at Russell Square


The Helicopter Emergency Medical Service arrives


The Tavistock Square bomb explodes, close to King's Cross


Medical teams declare the train clear of survivors

Emergency services response at Tavistock Square

0947 - First police arrive

A bomb explodes on a number 30 double-decker bus in Tavistock Square, near King's Cross. Police officers, already on the scene, report the blast


London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade receive calls about the blast


Police identify the cause of the explosion is a bomb. They request ambulances

0952 - First fire crew arrives

First fire crew arrives at the scene

0957 - First ambulance arrives

An ambulance crew, dispatched to Russell Square, comes across Tavistock Square en route


First ambulance officer - a key decision maker - arrives at the scene


A police officer confirms most of the dead and injured have been removed from the bus


A controlled explosion of a microwave on the bus is carried out


Fire crews confirm the police and the ambulance service have declared a major incident, while the fire service has not

Source: 7 July inquests

Note: The inquests noted there were differences in the timings of the records kept by the various emergency services, which may result in conflicting accounts of events. Photographs used may not have been taken at the exact time they appear in the timeline. However, they do represent a snapshot of what was happening around that time.

For more detailed information on the four attacks see: Aldgate, Edgware Road, Russell Square, Tavistock Square

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