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Lastminute employee tells of bomb ordeal


Lastminute.com Holidays site editor Rebecca Laing, 21, was on the Circle Line train on her way to work from Liverpool Street to St James’s Park when a bomb exploded in the carriage in front as the train travelled to Aldgate station. She told Travel Weekly about her ordeal:


“It was a normal day. I was sat on the tube and about 30 seconds into the journey there was a loud bang and a flash of light from the front carriage. Everything was plunged into darkness. The carriage filled with smoke and people started screaming, we didn’t know what was going on.


The carriage drew to a halt and there was just a scary, eerie silence, but I could hear people screaming ahead. There were two men at the front of our carriage trying to keep everyone calm, they were saying “it’s a power surge, don’t worry, there isn’t a fire, it’s fine”. We were all in a state of shock, but they kept everyone together. I didn’t see their faces, all I heard was their voices, but they kept everyone calm.


To be honest, a lot of us knew what it was, but didn’t want to admit it. I tried to convince myself it was a train derailment but then the carriage filled with smoke and there was no way out. The smoke was getting into my throat and I couldn’t breathe properly. I started thinking I want to get out, I want to get out.


After about 15 minutes, tube staff came and told us the worst of it was over and they were going to get us off. The emergency services were excellent. They knew exactly what they were doing.


They took the walking wounded off first. You could smell the blood. It started to kick in that it was quite serious when I saw people injured. I saw mainly head injuries and people cut from glass. I tried not to look – you just worry yourself.


We were led out on to the track and had to walk back past the front carriage to get to Aldgate station. It began to sink in a bit more as you could see the damage caused to the tube. The doors had been blown out and were on the floor in front of us. There were people still stuck in there screaming to get out.


There were a few bodies on the floor. I tried not to look. It was seeing the bodies the paramedics weren’t attending to that really bothered me. There was nothing more they could do for those people.


I actually got on the first carriage that morning but something told me to get off and get on the one behind. I don’t know whether it was women’s intuition. If I’d stayed in that carriage, I’d have ended up right next to the blast. At the very best, I’d now be in hospital; I could have been killed.


We were all ordinary innocent people just going to work on a Thursday. We were going about our daily business, all sitting on the tube worrying about what we were going to do at work that day and what meetings we had. It makes me angry.


I’m watching the news closely at the moment. I have this sense of needing to know.


I feel extremely lucky, but it’s still quite surreal and hasn’t 100% sunk in. I feel normal, then I get these moments where I just think oh my gosh, I was there.”

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