7/7 inquests: Emergency delays 'did not cause deaths'

Coroner Lady Justice Hallett has delivered her verdicts and recommendations following inquests into the deaths of 52 people, killed in a series of bomb blasts across London on 7 July 2005.

Four bombers targeted Tube trains at Aldgate, Edgware Road and Russell Square and a double decker bus in Tavistock Square.

The inquests at London's Royal Courts of Justice, which began last October, heard 309 witnesses and saw a further 197 statements over 19 weeks.

Here are some key points from Lady Hallett:

Verdict and findings

  • 52 innocent members of the travelling public were unlawfully killed in a dreadful act of terrorism
  • Families of the victims praised for their "understanding, support and quiet dignity"
  • On whether a public inquiry was needed, Lady Hallett said she was not aware of having left "any reasonable stone unturned" and these proceedings and her findings would be the end of investigations into 7/7
  • The inquests unearthed material which had never previously seen the light of day and caused organisations to change their practices
  • Concerns that inquests could not thoroughly investigate MI5 and security issues proved unfounded. Lady Hallett said the security service and police produced material for the coroner that was relevant but could not be published - but she was satisfied by the public scrutiny of MI5's actions
  • On the victims' chances of survival, she found that "on the balance of probabilities" each of the victims would have died no matter what time emergency services reached them
  • The evidence does not justify the conclusion that any failings of any organisation or individual caused or contributed to the deaths
  • No inquest should be held into the deaths of the four bombers, Mohammad Sidique Khan, Shehzad Tanweer, Hasib Hussain and Germaine Lindsay

Recommendations

  • MI5 must review its procedures on showing photographs to informants, and make sure they see the best possible pictures
  • MI5 should examine its procedures to see if it can further improve the recording of decisions on the assessment of targets
  • Emergency planners should review the inter-agency training for front line staff, particularly with reference to the Underground system
  • The way Transport for London is alerted to major incidents, and the way it tells other agencies about emergencies on its network, should be reviewed
  • Transport for London and the emergency services should review procedures for agreeing a common initial rendezvous point. That point should then be permanently manned by an appropriate person from London Underground
  • There should be a review of procedures for telling emergency services that the power in Underground tunnels has been switched off, and that it is safe to go onto the tracks
  • Transport for London should consider whether first aid kits can be carried on Tube trains, and whether the stretchers stored at stations are suitable for use on both trains and stations
  • London Ambulance Service and London Air Ambulance must review training of their staff for triage, or assessment, at incidents with multiple casualties. Particularly, staff should be told that performing triage does not prevent them giving immediate or basic medical treatment
  • The government, the Mayor of London and other bodies should examine the funding and capabilities of the London Air Ambulance, which currently relies on "corporate funding and charitable donations"

More on This Story

7/7 INQUESTS

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