7/7 Bombings: Listen To Office Workers' Haunting Call To Police After Seeing Bomb Tear Tavistock Square Bus Apart

07/07/2015 13:20 | Updated 07 July 2015

To mark the ten year anniversary of the London 7/7 terrorist attacks, HuffPost is running Beyond The Bombings, a special series of interviews, blogs, in-depth features and exclusive research reflecting on how Britain has changed since.

77 bombings victims

It is a phone call no one hopes they ever have to make, and one that probably haunts a London office worker to this very day.

The call to emergency services on July 7, 2005, reporting a bus explosion near Travistock Square, is as haunting today as it was 10 years ago.

The 30-odd-second conversation captures the man's distress and confusion, having just seen an explosive tear through a double-decker bus at 9.47am. The attack, near King's Cross, was the last of four on London's transport network that claimed 52 lives and left some 800 injured.

The man, who has never been identified, describes the scene in chillingly basic terms, saying “a bus has just exploded outside in Tavistock Square - just outside my window”.

july 7 2005 bomb
13 people lost their lives in the attack on the number 30 bus on 7 July, 2005

The man goes on to say, “there’s people lying in the road… there’s people trying to get out,” before saying, “I think there’s ambulances on the way, but there’s people dead”.

The sound of sirens can be heard at the end of the call, as emergency services arrive on the scene.

Hasib Hussain, 18, had detonated an explosive on the number 30 bus killing 13 people and injuring a further 110.

The bus exploded in front of the headquarters of the British Medical Association, where a conference was taking place. This meant that whilst there wasn't a lot of medical equipment available, scores of doctors were on hand to help save lives, inquests after the tragedy heard.

Cruelly, many of those on the bus boarded after being diverted from tube stations where attacks had already taken place at Aldgate, Edgware Road and Russell Square.

A short service is to take place at Tavistock Square today to remember those killed in the bus bombing. Flowers will be laid in their memory.

tavistock square
Families grieve at the site of the Tavistock Square attack

George Psaradakis, who was driving the bus when tragedy struck, has spoken of the ordeal for the first time, and recalled how the vehicle was so full he had to stop and ask people to get off.

“Even if my vocabulary had all the words in the world, I would still not find the right ones to describe my feelings about what I saw that day, he told the Daily Mail. “It was like a bomb exploded inside me too.”



Here we remember each of the victims

  • Michael Brewster, 52
    Michael Brewster, known to friends and family as Stan, died in the Edgware Road bombing. Brewster, a senior project engineer for Derbyshire County Council, went missing on his way to a conference in West Kensington. His family spent a week searching for him in London before police confirmed his death. Speaking at the inquest into his death, Brewster's daughter Katy said: "Everybody loved him and respected him." His funeral in the Derbyshire village of Swanwick was attended by more than 1,000 people.
  • Jonathan Downey, 34
    A family statement described Jonathan Downey, from Milton Keynes, as "a kind, caring, considerate and supportive son, husband and friend." Downey commuted daily with his wife Veronica to London for his job as a human resources systems development officer for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. He was on board the westbound Circle Line train involved in the Edgware Road attack when he died.
  • David Foulkes, 22
    David Foulkes had been enjoying his new job for the Guardian's media sales team in Manchester, when he died in the Edgware Road bombing. Foulkes, who was in London for the day to meet a colleague, had been planning to move in with his girlfriend and start a family. His father Graham praised him as "a very thoughtful person who cared for the people he called friends".
  • Colin Morley, 52
    Colin Morley, from north London, was in the midst of his Be The Change project when he died in the Edgware Road bombing. The initiative encouraged individuals and organisations to make positive changes to act as a force for good. On the project's website, his wife Ros wrote: "Colin was a wonderful husband and father. No words could ever express our great love for him and his love for us, his family."
  • Jennifer Nicholson, 24
    Jennifer Nicholson, a talented muscian who commuted to London daily from Reading, is believed to have died instantly when a bomb was detonated near Edgware Road tube station. Nicholson, who was a gifted singer and was working in music publishing, is the subject of a BBC drama to mark the 10th anniversary of the bombing, entitled 'A Song For Jenny'. The programme, which stars Bafta-winning actress Emily Watson, explore's the reaction of her mother, Julie, to her daughter's death. Nicholson's mother described her daughter as "a kind and honest person with a huge capacity for love and laughter".
  • Laura Webb, 29
    Laura Webb, from Islington in north London, was killed in the Edgware Road bombings, although her family and boyfriend searched for a week until they were told she had died. She survived for a short period of time after the detonation thanks to the efforts of other passengers, but eventually succumbed to her injuries. Webb had been travelling in South America with her boyfriend when the 9/11 attacks took place in New York, and cut the trip short because she was so moved by the tragedy. Her mother Hazel said her daughter was "always happy and laughing. She was kind and caring and could always see the best in people and never had a bad word to say of anyone. Laura loved all aspects of her life."
  • Lee Baisden, 34
    Lee Baisden, an accountant for the London Fire Brigade, was one of the seven people who died on the Circle Line train at Aldgate. He was stood directly next to bomber Shehzad Tanweer when the attack took place. Baisden, from Romford in Essex, had recently moved in with his boyfriend Paul Groman, and also spent much of his time caring for his mother, Denise. Mrs Baisden said of her son: "He planned to get married to his partner Paul Groman and he enjoyed life to the full. He will be greatly missed by all and his loss has left a massive hole in all our lives."
  • Benedetta Ciaccia, 30
    Benedetta Ciaccia was just two months away from her wedding day when she was killed in the Aldgate bombing on her way to her job at Pearson Publishing. Ciacca, who commuted daily from Norwich, had also recently completed a part-time degree in IT but never got to find out her results. In a statement read to the 7/7 inquest, her father Roberto, said: "Benedetta Ciaccia was a beautiful, sweet, Italian girl who greatly loved life. "All she worked for was to have a family of her own with many children which she really loved."
  • Richard Ellery, 21
    Richard Ellery, from Ipswich, was in a hurry to get to a training course at the Kensington branch of Jessops, after waking up half an hour late. However he never made it there after being caught up in the blast at Aldgate. In a letter to the 7/7 inquest, Ellery's father Trevor said his son had "grown into a confident and very sociable man" and "had been beginning a new and very positive phase in his life".
  • Richard Gray, 41
    Richard Gray was killed in the Aldgate bombing as he made his way to his office at chartered accountants FW Smith Riches in Pall Mall. He had been standing just feet away from bomber Shehzad Tanweer. Gray, who commuted daily from Ipswich, was a keen hockey player and helped set up the Ipswich & East Suffolk Hockey Club. His wife, Louise, described him as "fun-loving, kind and generous, an ordinary family man". The compensation paid out to his family by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority later became the subject of a feud between Gray's wife and son.
  • Carrie Taylor, 24
    Carrie Taylor regularly commuted from Billericay in Essex alongside her mother, always kissing her goodbye on the Liverpool Street station concourse. She never completed her journey to work at the Royal Society of Arts that morning, as she was on the train targeted in the Aldgate bombing. An the 7/7 inquest, one doctor who was caught up in the same attack described comforting Taylor for around an hour after the bomb exploded. Her father, John, said of her: "She believed that she was moving in the right direction and it was devastating that she had only just started to reap the benefits of all her hard work when she died so tragically."
  • Fiona Stevenson, 29
    Fiona Stevenson was killed in the bombing at Aldgate as she was en route from her new flat in the City to court in Hammersmith. Stevenson, who was described by her boss as "a hard-working, conscientious and supremely able criminal lawyer", died in the aftermath of the attack. A survivor told the 7/7 inquest that he held her hand as she lay injured and felt her squeeze it as she slipped away. A fund in her memory raised £550 for the Liberty Foundation, which provides care and education for abused and abandoned children in Belize. In a statement read to the inquest, her family said of Stevenson: "She had a wonderful zest for life. As far as she was concerned, life was no dress rehearsal and she was determined to live it to the full."
  • Anthony Fatayi-Williams, 26
    Anthony Fatayi-Williams died when Hasib Hussain detonated a bomb on the Number 30 bus, overground in London's Tavistock Square. Fatayi-Williams, an oil executive, made his final phone call at 9.47am on July 7, to warn his bosses in the City that his journey had been delayed. He never made it back to the office. His mother, Marie, said of him: "He lived for humanity and radiated joy and peace from childhood to adulthood."
  • Jamie Gordon, 30
    Jamie Gordon did not normally take the Number 30 bus to work, but had stayed at a friend's house the night before. Instead of travelling from Enfield, where he lived with his girlfriend Yvonne Nash, he was on the bus which exploded on Tavistock Square. Gordon, who had been planning to marry Nash, made a phone call at 9.42am to warn his office, a financial firm on Old Street, that he would be late. Five minutes later, the bus was blown up. His parents told the 7/7 inquest: "Jamie was a funny, tolerant and charming young man who could be irritatingly late, but rarely ever shortchanged any of us."
  • Giles Hart, 55
    Giles Hart was on his way to work in Islington from Hornchurch in Essex when he was killed in the Tavistock Square bombing. Hart was posthumously awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Polish Republic, for his human rights and trade union activities and work with the Polish Solidarity Campaign. He was also passionate about film, as well as chairing the HG Wells Society which celebrates the British writer's work. At the inquest into his death, a letter from his wife Maryla said of him: "Giles was an honest, principled person. He believed in justice, liberty and freedom and hated oppression, fundamentalism and totalitarianism."
  • Marie Hartley, 34
    Marie Hartley was in London with a colleague to scout out new artists for her greetings card company, when they both boarded the ill-fated Number 30. Hartley, from Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire, sent a text to her family and friends assuring them she was safe after being evacuated from Euston in the aftermath of the Tube bombings. Shortly afterwards she was killed in Tavistock Square. Her colleague survived the blast with serious facial injuries. Speaking five years after Hartley's death, her brother, Ian Targett, told the Accrington Observer: "I was very close to my sister. She would light up a room and was a strong character. She was well liked and had a lot of friends."
  • Miriam Hyman, 31
    Miriam Hyman spoke to her father, John on the phone after the Tube bombings hit. He suggested that she go and wait in a coffee shop for things to calm down before she boarded public transport again, when she spoke to him at around 9.45am. Tragically, Hyman was among those who boarded the Number 30 bus which was then attacked in Tavistock Square. Miriam, a freelance picture editor from Hampstead Garden Suburb, was on her way to Canary Wharf when she died. The Miriam Hyman Memorial Trust was set up in her memory. An eye hospital in India is named after her, providing around 10,000 appointments a year. Her sister Esther said of her: "Miriam attracted friends like a magnet and she kept them too. They remember her laughter and lust for life, her ability to listen attentively and help others to see clearly."
  • Shahara Islam, 20
    The youngest victim of the bombings, Shahara Islam, was from Plaistow. She sat opposite Hasib Hussain when he detonated his bomb on the Number 30 bus in Tavistock Square. Her hour-long journey on the Tube to Islington had been interrupted when she was evacuated following the train bombings, and she bumped into a colleague at Euston station. The colleague suggested they have a coffee and wait for the rush onto the buses to die down, but Islam was keen to get to work, so they got on the bus. A statement from her family said of her: "She was an Eastender, a Londoner and British, but above all a true Muslim and proud to be so."
  • Neetu Jain, 37
    Neetu Jain was about to get engaged to her boyfriend Gous Ali when she was killed in the Tavistock Square bombing. Jain called Ali and her sister to assure them she was safe after being evacuated from the Tube on her way to her office in Old Street, where she helped build computer software. But she later died aboard the Number 30 when Hasib Hussain detonated his bomb. At the inquest into her death, Jain's sister, Reetu, described her as a "a beautiful, loving person" who at the time of her death "was the happiest that she had ever been with her career and personal life".
  • Sam Ly, 28
    Sam Ly, a computer technician from Melbourne, Australia, was in Britain on a working holiday. Ly survived for a week after the attack but was hospitalised with serious injuries. His father and nephew flew across the world to be at his bedside until he died. His girlfriend, Mandy Ha, said of him: "If it is possible to be taught how to love wholeheartedly and unselfishly, Sam was my teacher. If there was anyone who inspired me to be more than I was, it was him."
  • Shyanuja Parathasangary, 30
    Shyanuja Parathasangary, from Kensal Rise, was killed in the Tavistock Square bombing as she travelled to work at the Royal Mail's Old Street office.
    Parathasangary, who was known to many as Shy, had just bought a house with her sister, Sindujah, and was enjoying refurbishing it.
    Her parents, Ruth and Sangary, said of her: "One of Shyanu's remarkable characteristics is that she never had a harsh word for anyone. Even if she did not agree with someone, she would accept what they said with a smile. She was kind and generous and had an outgoing personality."
  • Anat Rosenberg, 39
    Anat Rosenberg, from Finsbury Park, was speaking on the phone to her boyfriend John Falding when a bomb went off on the Number 30 bus in Tavistock Square. Although Falding could hear distant screams before the line went dead, he said was glad to have been speaking to his partner in her final moments.
    He described Rosenberg as "vivacious, volatile and vulnerable. She was feisty and fiery. She was intelligent with a wonderful sense of humour. But above all, she was the most loyal, loving and caring person imaginable."
    In a tragic coincidence, Rosenberg, a charity administrator, had been nervous about travelling to Israel later that year to visit her parents because she was worried about suicide bombers.
  • Philip Russell, 28
    Philip Russell’s family and friends were given a glimmer of hope when he was classified as missing after the 7/7 bombings. But after an agonising wait, they discovered four days later that he had died. Russell, a finance manager for JP Morgan, had telephoned his office at around 9.30am to tell his team he was going to be late because his journey to work had been disrupted by the train explosions. He went on to board the ill-fated Number 30 bus blown up in Tavistock Square. Just after the bombings, his friends gathered to remember his life at drinks originally organised by Russell for what would have been his 29th birthday. His father, Graham, said at the inquest into Russell’s death: "His parents' pride and love knows no bounds, and the stories recounted by his friends since his death have echoed their every thought, proving that their son was indeed a good man."
  • William Wise, 54
    William Wise set out on July 7 to take the same route to work he had done for the past 10 years, but turned back when he realised he had forgotten his glasses. After returning home to Notting Hill to pick them up, he telephoned a colleague to advise them he would be late. When Wise realised there had been explosions on the Tube, he chose instead to take the bus - only to be killed on the Number 30 in Tavistock Square. Wise had been back together with his wife Christine for two years, after they had separated following 11 years of marriage. The couple had been planning to get fit together.
  • Gladys Wundowa, 50
    Gladys Wundowa died from her injuries shortly after she was caught in the Tavistock Square blast. Ghanaian-born Wundowa, known to many as Ama, was described as an exceptionally hard-working woman, who took a job carrying cement blocks on building sites to support her family when they could not afford to send her to secondary school in her native country. After moving to London to work as a maid, she went on to work as a cleaner at University College London, while also volunteering with a charity and taking a course in housing management. At a ceremony to unveil a plaque in her memory at UCL, Professor Nick Tyler, Head of UCL Civil & Environmental Engineering, explained how he got to know Wundowa because they both arrived so early for work. He described her as a “ray of sunshine”. Wundowa was buried in her home village in Ghana in a service attended by more than 2,000 mourners.
  • James Adams, 32
    James Adams was on his way to his office in The Strand, where he worked as a mortgage broker, when he was caught in the Russell Square bombing. He is thought to have died instantaneously. Adams was a committed Christian and had been a deacon at the Bretton Baptist Church in Peterborough, where he lived, for two years. He had also spent many years supporting a project to help orphans in southern India and a children’s home in the region was dedicated to him following his death. MP David Lammy, who went to school with Adams, paid tribute to him, saying: "When people die it is common to say there was not a bad word to say about them but with James that was absolutely the case. He was one of the nicest people I have ever known. He was charming, very polite and a strong Christian. His faith was important to him.” At the inquest into his death, a statement from his parents said: "James would have loved to have been married and to have had a family, but after 7/7, this was not to be. James is remembered by family and friends as a devoted and loving person."
  • Samantha Badham, 35, and Lee Harris, 30
    Samantha Badham usually drove to work from her home in Tottenham but chose to get the Tube on July 7 so she could have dinner in Soho with some friends that evening. Along with her boyfriend Lee Harris, she boarded the Piccadilly Line train which was then bombed by Germaine Lindsay. Medics said that they found Badham, a web designer, and Harris lying together, both seriously injured with their legs intertwined. Both died, Badham from a heart attack just 10 steps from the exit at King’s Cross. Paramedic Adam Desmond described speaking to Badham and said: “Just before I moved her I whispered in her ear that I was going to take her out and she smiled at me and squeezed my hand.” Another paramedic, Philip Nation, said that Badham tried to say something to him as she was carried out - but added: “To this day, I can’t say I heard clearly what it was.” Badham’s sister, Louise, said of the couple's relationship: "They did not marry, but they were completely devoted to each other." Lee Harris, an architect, usually cycled to work but due to a work meeting in Heathrow and dinner plans in Soho, he took the Tube with his girlfriend instead. Harris survived for several days after the attack but eventually died from his injuries on 15 July. Harris' mother, Lynne, said of of them:"Lee and Sammy were always together. As far as their future was concerned, it was to be together and to get married and have children." A joint funeral was held for the couple in Badham's home town of Ledbury, in Herefordshire.
  • Philip Beer, 22
    Phil Beer, a hairstylist from Borehamwood in Hertfordshire, died in the Russell Square bombing as he travelled to work at a Knightsbridge salon. He had been journeying with his friend Patrick Barnes when the explosion took place, and his final moments were spent reassuring Barnes that he was going to live. Barnes survived the ordeal. Paramedic Peter Taylor said that when he first arrived on the scene, Beer called out for help but later stopped breathing. He said that leaving Beer was the "hardest decision I have ever had to make". Beer’s family paid tribute to the charismatic hairstylist by asking all mourners to attend his funeral in brightly coloured clothing and carrying his body to the crematorium in a pink coffin. One of his former colleagues said of Beer: "He had a fantastic personality that was full of character and was loved by his colleagues and countless friends alike.”
  • Anna Brandt, 41
    Anna Brandt was on her way to work as a cleaner in Hammersmith from her home in Wood Green, when she was caught in the Russell Square bombing. Brandt’s brother Pawel Iskryzinski spent several days desperately searching for his sister several days until police were able to confirm her death using a DNA sample. Brandt had moved to the UK in 2002, leaving her husband Arek behind in Poland to care for their children. In a statement Iskryzinski, described his sister as a very private person.
  • Ciaran Cassidy, 22
    Ciaran Cassidy, from Crouch Hill, had been saving money for months, from his job at a printing company in Chancery Lane, for a trip he was planning to Australia. He was killed instantly when Germaine Lindsay detonated his bomb on a Piccadilly Line train at near Russell Square. Many legal professionals who visited the printing show where Cassidy worked paid tribute to him as a happy, friendly individual. In a statement read at the inquest into his death, his mother Veronica said: "He had no hate in him and no ego. He loved his family, friends, Arsenal, his weekend drinks and his mother's dinners.”

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