Inquest shown 7 July aftermath videos

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The inquest into the 7 July suicide bombings in London have been shown new footage of the aftermath of the four explosions.

The bombs were detonated on three London Underground trains and a bus on 7 July 2005, killing 52 people.

Families of the deceased were in court to view the videos - which had been filmed by the emergency services.

The inquest heard the force of the blasts threw some victims from the trains and bus the bombers targeted.

The hearing was also told of a string of "heroic" acts by other passengers, to help the injured and dying.

Counsel to the inquest Hugo Keith QC said the bomb planted on a Piccadilly line train travelling south from King's Cross station to Russell Square caused 26 deaths because it had been "packed" with between 1,000 and 1,500 passengers.

Six victims were found on the tracks, with the other 20 in the first carriage. Of these, at least six were believed to have been alive for some time after the explosion, while four who were evacuated died later.

Police video filmed later that evening showed the driver's cab window was shattered, while bags were left scattered and abandoned.

Mr Keith said it was "distressing" to see footage of the scene "where so many people tragically died".

But he added that "great care" had been taken to edit the video to make sure nothing was seen of the deceased.

It was revealed for the first time that the family of Behnaz Mozakka, 47, were initially told she had survived for up to 40 minutes after the explosion but that it had proved to be incorrect.

Mr Keith said Jennifer Nicholson, 24, who worked for a publishing company, was among those whose bodies were found lying on the tracks after the explosion at Edgware Road.

She was blown out of the second carriage of a Circle line train by the force of the bomb which obliterated the doors on either side.

Mr Keith said the body of the bomber, Mohammad Sidique Khan, was blown to pieces with part of his body found under the carriage.

He said that passengers on a nearby train had done their best to help the injured.

"As the bombed westbound and [the] eastbound train came to rest alongside one another, the horror of what had occurred became plain to the occupants of the other train," Mr Keith added.

"At first they heard cries of anguish and for help but once the smoke had cleared the view, it was clearly just inches away."

He said that helpers were forced to try to swing from the handrails as they tried to reach those who were hurt.

Among those was Steve Hucklesby, who found a woman lying on the floor with her eyes open. He tried to resuscitate her but after several attempts realised it was impossible.

Mr Keith said staff at Aldgate also acted promptly to deal with the "horror that had occurred".

The inquest heard that the Aldgate bomber, Shehzad Tanweer, had been standing in the second carriage when he detonated his device, which blew a hole in the floor.

Mr Keith said the driver, Timothy Batkin, could hear the screams of passengers behind him but his initial mayday calls went unanswered.

He eventually used his own mobile phone to raise the alarm, which was possible because the train was in a shallow section of the underground.

An off-duty doctor ignored orders to leave the Aldgate train so she could continue giving life-saving assistance. Gerardine Quaghebeur, a consultant neurologist, had been sitting in the same carriage as Tanweer.

Meanwhile off-duty police officer Elizabeth Kenworthy, also on the Aldgate train, applied tourniquets to Andrew Brown and Martine Wright - who both lost their legs in the blast - as well as holding their hands and comforting them.

Hours after all the casualties were removed from the train, emergency services returned underground to video the scene.

The court was also shown footage of the aftermath of the bomb blast on a number 30 double-decker bus at the junction of Tavistock Square and Upper Woburn place.

Image caption,
The bomb devastated the carriage at Aldgate

Mr Keith said: "It appears very few of the passengers had intended to catch a bus that morning. Some of the passengers had been at the scene of the Edgware Road bombs an hour earlier."

The footage showed bus debris strewn over the road, while forensic experts showed a diagram displaying where passengers had been thrown because of the force of the blast.

Earlier Mr Keith had outlined a string of delays getting emergency services to the scene of each underground bomb attack.

Coroner Lady Justice Hallett is examining how each victim died and whether MI5 could have stopped the bombers. Many families still want a public inquiry.

In addition to those killed, some 700 people were injured, many of them severely and permanently, when four al-Qaeda-backed suicide bombers, all British men, detonated their devices.

On Monday, Mr Keith said bombers Mohammad Sidique Khan, Shehzad Tanweer, Germaine Lindsay and Hasib Hussain had unleashed an "unimaginably dreadful wave of horror".