UK

7/7 inquest: Survivor left trapped under Tube doors

  • 11 November 2010
  • From the section UK
Screen grab taken from video footage taken by emergency services of the 7/7 bomb wreckage of the train near Edgware Road Tube station.
Image caption Mohammad Sidique Khan detonated his device in a tunnel near Edgware Road Tube station in 2005

A survivor of the 7 July bombings in London has described the moment he was blown off his feet and left trapped under a set of Tube train doors.

Daniel Belsten told an inquest one of the blasts left him lying on the floor feeling like he was being electrocuted.

He was on the same Edgware Road train as bomber Mohammad Sidique Khan who killed himself and six others in 2005.

The inquests into the deaths of the 52 victims began in October, and are expected to last several months.

'Burning metal'

Mr Belsten said: "I just felt a whack to the side of my head. I saw a white flash, everything was in slow motion. I felt like I was falling through the floor of the carriage.

"I could feel hot metal burning, I felt like I was being electrocuted.

"I felt like my legs were on the track and they were going down the track and my legs were being sliced off.

"I just remember the doors being on top of me. I was trapped down on the floor then looked up."

Eventually help arrived and the doors were lifted off the dazed passenger, allowing him to sit down in a seat, the inquest heard.

He said he sat for a long period of time and was given a glass of water before being led to a platform while still shaky.

"I looked down at my legs and they were still there. I just felt a bit relieved. I just sat there, in shock, a bit dazed," he said.

Suitcase shield

He recounted the scene of carnage before him, including seeing a man previously dressed in a suit sitting in his underwear and a woman who was short of breath crying out and holding her chest.

He recalled: "I just sat there, just staring into space, I was just looking, just thinking it's crazy the situation I was in."

Mr Belsten was taken to St Mary's Hospital in Paddington with a fractured cheekbone and left arm, plus damaged ears.

Image caption Prof Tulloch has suffered symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder

Later, an academic on the same train told the inquest he was partially shielded from the force of the blast by the three bags at his feet.

Professor John Tulloch said he had just returned from Australia and had his suitcase, cabin bag and laptop bag resting by his legs when the bomb detonated.

"I had my three bags because I wanted to be out the door first. Almost instantly something quite severe happened," he said.

"I had no recollection, I didn't... hear anything, but there was a strong yellow to deep orange colour - the whole carriage was this colour.

"I briefly saw the carriage and the best way to describe it was, it seemed it was being stretched and pulled. I don't recall seeing anything flying about."

He said he lost consciousness then came round lying on his back in the dark surrounded by glass.

He started to feel his legs as the adrenaline cut in, and recalled feeling "very good" that they were still there, he added.

Prof Tulloch said he still had shrapnel inside his head and had suffered damage to both eardrums and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

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