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Again the memoirial plate for the victims. It was so sad.

The following is an article that is the result of our trip. We could have made it ten times longer with much more people, as everyone had an interesting story to tell.

I could have just told about my own experiences, but I rather wanted to tell the story of the people who unwillingly became a part of world history that day.

Hope you will find it interesting:


Today terror highly hits regular people and along with their relatives they will have to live with the experiences for the rest of their lives. The 7th of July 2005 a suicide bomb turned the lives upside down for the people in the underground train at Piccadilly Line in London who were dragged into the catastrophe. The following is a story about some of the people who accidentally became a part of world history.


By Katja Hoejbjerg and Natasja Engholm


6.30 A.M

It hadn’t been the best year for Michael Smith. His ex-wife, whom he had known for 14 years, had committed suicide three months earlier. He got up and drove his seven year old son to school. Afterwards he took the train from Hertford towards Finsbury Park where he could change to the underground train Piccadilly Line. Lately he had been working part time because of the death of his ex-wife and therefore he came in later at work than usually.

The train pulled up at Finsbury Park. Michael Smith grabbed a free newspaper and ran down the stairs.


7.15 A.M

About 45 minutes after Michael Smith had left his home three men arrived at the parking lot at station in Luton. About three hours earlier they had left from Leeds in a rented light blue Nissan Micra. A fourth person had arrived from Aylesbury north of London in a red Fiat Brava and had been waiting for the others about two hours.

The driver of the blue car parked. The three of them got out and greeted their friend. Hereafter they opened the boots of the two cars and took out four densely packed rucksacks.

Before they went towards the station one of the men bought a parking ticket, which he put in the front window of the rented Nissan Micra. He wouldn’t want the car to attract any unnecessary attention.


7.51 A.M

41-year-old Sudesh Dahad had gotten up late that morning. He trotted towards Hitchin Station where he got on the train towards King’s Cross. His otherwise so well-fitting suit was a little too warm. He sat down on a seat and turned to an article he was reading in the newest issue of The Economist.

Sudesh Dahad was a project manager at Russell Investment Group close to Piccadilly Circus. As he arrived at King’s Cross he put the magazine in his bag and went down the rolling stairs to take the Piccadilly Line.

The voice in the speaker drew the attention to the fact that there were delays that day. For a minute he thought about taking another line but then dropped it and jumped on the train that arrived at that very moment.

The train was crowded but he managed to take out The Economist from his bag again.


8.26 A.M

Shortly before 8.30 A.M a surveillance camera at King’s Cross caught the four men who had gotten on the train in Luton. They embraced each other whereupon they went down at each their underground line. They all looked happy, almost euphoric.


8.50 A.M

In an exchange bureau at Euston Road many meters above King’s Cross exchange assistant Michael Cross had just checked in. Shortly after he felt the earth shake underneath him for a few seconds.


8.52 A.M

Instinctively Sudesh Dahad new it was a bomb. Everything went dark around him. The explosion and the following pressure wave made the passengers in the first carriage fall down to the floor. That made Sudesh Dahad wonder how it was possible in a carriage so crowded that there were no place to fall.

Far away he could hear screaming and crying. In a trance-like state of mind Sudesh Dahad got up. The air slowly got thicker from the smoke. Was he dead and gone to hell?



In the second carriage of the train darkness had also fallen and the smell of burning rubber slowly spread. The same morning Kemal Keenan had kissed his wife and kids goodbye before he went to his job as a manager at the Cyprus/Turkish Airlines. Along with about a 100 other passengers he was now stuck in the second carriage of the train. He was all right. The discussion spread among the passengers weather to smash a window.

Kemal Keenan was against the idea.

“We do not know what’s on the other side,” he said.

At last some of the male passengers of the carriage broke the window to the door of the third carriage. Together with the other passengers Kemal Keenan went through the train and out on the tracks. He just wanted to get out of there.



In the third carriage the smoke became thicker.

”I really don’t need this,” Michael Smith thought to himself. He had been in a far enough distance away from the bomb to be seriously injured. He could feel the smoke becoming thicker and the heat spread.

Michael Smith passively listened in the dark to the voices that argued pro and against smashing a window. After a while the smoke became even thicker and three men began kicking at the door. Finally, it gave in. Michael Smith went on to the tracks towards King’s Cross.

”I really hope they give us a refund on the tickets,” he joked with the other passengers. At that moment he had not realized the seriousness of the situation.




There was light in the first carriage. The driver had taken a flash light, which he shined with in the room. Sudesh Dahad was able to hear that he tried to give instructions but his words were drowned by the screaming and crying of the injured passengers. Sudesh Dahad finally realized that the driver wanted people to go through the driver’s cabin. At last he was out. They went along the tracks to Russell Square until they could see the platform.


8.55 A.M

”The Guardian and The Independent, please”.

Editor and journalist at the Camden New Journal, Dan Carrier, were at his regular kiosk, York Rise, when his phone rang. It was a colleague from the new paper.

”I think that something is going on in the underground station at King’s Cross. You ought to check it out”

Dan Carrier hung up and called the police. Impossible to get through. Resolute he got his worn, green mountain bike and went through the streets of London.



8.58 A.M

Actually David Whitmore was not supposed to have been working that day. The 47-year-old paramedic only worked Monday till Wednesday on his job at London Ambulance and today was Thursday. He only went by his work early that morning because he had some paper work that had to be done, before he went on to his other job as a teacher for paramedics. A few minutes to nine a colleague stopped by David Whitmore office.

“I think something’s going on at the underground,” the colleague said.

David Whitmore got up and went down to the control room on the ground floor. He learned that there was suspicion that a bomb had gone of on the Circle Line between Liverpool Street Station and Aldgate Station. During the next few minutes reports came in of two other suspected bombs on the Piccadilly Line between Russell Square and the Circle Line close to Edgware Road. David Whitmore got ready to go to Aldgate. Meanwhile a colleague called from Russell Square.

“I’ve got 60-70 patients. I need help.”

David Whitmore answered the call:

“I’m on my way.”


9.30 A.M

”Typical,” Dan Carrier thought to himself.

”They never do anything.”

The first thing he saw when he arrived at King’s Cross about 9.30 A.M was a group of construction workers taking a break. He went to them and asked what had happened.

”We’ve be evacuated,” one of them said.

Dan Carrier got his suspicion confirmed that something serious had happened.

He took out his press card and determinately walked towards the underground station.


9.40 A.M

After 27 years at London Ambulance David Whitmore had seen and tried more than most people. Working as an ambulance driver, he had been called out to seven terrorism attacks in London. Therefore he now acted instinctively.

On Russell Square shaken passengers filled with soot, fragments of glass and open wounds were coming up the 175 steps long spiral staircase. 10-12 wounded people were in the front hall of the station. Two people had lost their legs. David Whitmore went back to his car. He realized the situation was serious. A couple of minutes later he grabbed a flash light and started walking between the tracks towards the noises he could hear far away in the dark.


* * *

At King’s Cross Tourism Centre Sandra Zambelli had not been standing still since she checked in a few minutes to nine. The underground did not run anymore. The small room, which Sandra Zambelli shared with exchange assistant Michael Scott and an electronic business, was filled with people asking for alternative ways to go to work. A man in his 40’s, who seemed very upset, borrowed Sandra Zambelli’s telephone. Afterwards she discovered that the phone was covered with soot. She found that strange. Twenty minutes to ten two police officers came in and asked, if they could borrow the phone. Between the many questions from the impatient passengers Sandra Zambelli heard the words “a very serious incident.” The fear crept up upon her.


* * *

Deep under the ground the light from David Whitmore’s flash light spotted a hand bag on the track in front of him. His thought wandered. He thanked God that the explosion didn’t happen, when the train had been filled with children on their way to school. For a moment he thought insecurely about the fact that the tunnel was in danger of collapsing, but he quickly pushed his thoughts away and focused on the job, he was there to do.

When he got to the red-white train that looked fairly intact from the outside he conferred with his colleagues about how many wounded and dead people were in the tunnel.


9.47 A.M

Pendlers pushed their way into bus number 30 that ran eastwards from Marble Arch. A young dark haired man with a beard wearing a black jacked repeatedly peeled at his rucksack. At some point he went to the top deck of the bus and sat down in the front. The rucksack he put on the floor in front of him. Shortly after the world stopped for a minute. That was the fourth time that day.


10.00 A.M

At King’s Cross Kemal Keenan walked about like he was in a trance. His lungs were closing in because of his asthma. Wheezing, in chock and covered in blood he went into the ticket office. It looked like a war zone. There was blood, people with scratches and doctors treating them. A man had his eye destroyed. Kemal Keenan went out to the front hall again. His vision failed. Everything flickered. He tried to call his wife from his cell phone without luck and glided down onto the floor. Here he sat gasping for his breath until two ambulance drivers came with a back that he could breathe in. One of them said

“You must feel very lucky today sitting here”.

The feeling of guilt suddenly hit Kemal Keenan like another explosion, while his thoughts circled about the question:

"Why wasn’t he dead?"

Shortly after a doctor helped him onto a red bus.


* * *

Outside King’s Cross journalist Dan Carrier didn’t know what to do with himself. People covered in blood and soot wandered pass him, while he was not able to do anything but watch. Persons in neon yellow west ran by him with bandages and medication. In front of him a red bus was parked. It was going to a nearby hospital with the injured people who were able to walk themselves. Dan Carrier considered taking the two steps up the stairs on the bus and get himself a scoop of a story. But he couldn’t. At that moment journalism suddenly became intensely unimportant.


* * *

On Russell Square paramedic David Whitmore had come out of the tunnel. He began organizing the doctors and paramedics at the station. An Israelian doctor, Dr. Meilik, showed up and offered his help. Dr. Meilik was on holiday and had been enjoying his breakfast at Russell House Hotel with his family, when he heard a sound, he knew so well from Israel. He instantly ran towards Russell Square where David Whitmore now benefited from his experience with terrorism attacks.

In the small front hall among injured passengers, doctors and police men, it was David Whitmores job to create order in the chaos by estimating how badly injured the victims were. It happened as if it was any other incident. Those, who balanced between life and death, had to wait so that those who still had a square chance of survival could get their treatment first. David Whitmore saw a tiny woman who was lacking both her legs. She was covered in blood and unconscious. He established that her chances of survival were unfailingly small and instructed his men to put a blanket over her. The tiny woman fought for her life until she was taken to the hospital. It was 10.50 A.M when David Whitmore saw her for the last time that day.


10.30 A.M

Up on the street Sudhesh Dahad and two other passengers passed by the town hall. He was in chock. Walking about with the other two without having a goal. He just had to do something and now it was walking. A woman from the town hall came out and helped them inside. Sudhesh Dadah went to the men’s room and when he turned and faced the mirror it wasn’t a familiar face staring back at him. He looked like a cartoon. He had soot in his face and glass in his hair and the back of his neck. His hair bristled up in the air. Sudhesh Dahad started cleaning his face but it was almost impossible. Afterwards he sat in front of a turned on TV in the town hall.


11.30 A.M

Journalist Dan Carrier was watching, while the big news papers and the TV-stations were trying to get a comment from the victims. He didn’t have the heart to throw himself over the victims who obviously were in chock. A woman with three children caught his eye. They were standing not far away looking worried at the chaos taking place in front at them. He went over to talk to them. The woman told him that they were from Israel on holiday in London. Her husband was a doctor and when they heard and felt the bomb earlier on during breakfast her husband had rushed to Russell Square to see if he could help. Since then, they hadn’t heard from him.

Dan Carrier took out his pad and started interviewing the Meilik's.  


11.45 A.M

On Russell Square David Whitmore were able to breath slowly again. He had just sent the last of his patients to the hospital and was now officially able to declare the station area closed. 45 minutes earlier he had to send two of the paramedics’ home, because they were so exhausted that they were not able to do their job. He got out in his car and drove back to the office to write his reports of the day. 11 hours of work were waiting ahead of him.


12.00 A.M

15 minutes later Sandra Zambelli closed the tourism office. When she came out on the street, everything was closed and it was all quiet. It scared her. From the TV at the office she knew that it was a terrorism attack, but at that point she didn’t know the extent of it. How many people were dead? And how many were wounded? Sandra Zambelli went into the hotel next to the tourism office to escape the silence. There she turned her head to the hotel television.


12.05 A.M

From a G8 meeting in Gleneagle in Scotland the Prime Minister Tony Blair sent his reaction of the terrorism attack out to the world. He was visibly shaken and said the following words:

“It is important that we make it clear to the terrorists that our determination to stick to our values and way of living is stronger than their actions.”

Hereafter Tony Blair went to London, while the meeting in Gleneagle continued.


The article is based on interviews with the sources that appear in the story and official reports about the terrorism act.


Kemal Keenan 47 years old, passenger: Was released from the hospital later the same day. He has now bought a motor cycle, because he is afraid to go by the underground.


Sudhesh Dahad 41 years old, passenger:

The first time he went by the underground after the attack was the 21st of July 2005 when there was another attempt to attack the underground. Still, he takes the underground every day to work.


“Michael Smith” (his real name is known by the editor), passenger:

The bombing attack was a big chock to him, but it made him appreciate life so much that he was able to move on after his wife’s suicide. He still takes the underground to work.


David Whitmore 48 years old, manager of the paramedics:

He tried to get a hold of the Israelian doctor, Dr. Meilik to thank him. The woman who lost her legs miraculously survived. He met her again nine months later.


Sandra Zambelli, an employee at a Tourism office:

Feels sick every time she hears the sirens


Dan Carrier 33 years old, editor at the Camden New Journal: His article about the Meilik family was published after the 7th of July in the Jerusalem Post and other big daily




gokaiser says:
Wow, you are a fantastic writer!!! You painted a picture of the events that played out like a movie in my head. I could almost see myself in the mist of the attack!!!
Posted on: Dec 07, 2007
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Again the memoirial plate for the …
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