Bus blast: eye witness accounts
Jul 7 2005
Cycle courier Andrew Childes, 36, from London was on his way to the British Medical Association's headquarters in Tavistock Place, Euston, when the bus blast happened outside the building.
He said: "I heard a bang, a thudding deep sound. There was a big cloud of grey smoke. I was about 250 metres away at the time and I stopped dead in my tracks and didn't go any further.
"I waited for a bit and then went to see what had happened.
"The bus was just splintered metal, and it was all bent over.
"The top part of the bus was completely exposed, as if the roof had been ripped off it.
"There was a bit of panic going on, a few screams and shouts, but there wasn't massive panic. The police were already there because of what was happening on the tubes and quickly got things under control.
"I didn't see if anyone was on the bus or if anybody was hurt. Somebody told me they saw the driver running away from the bus but I don't know if that's true.
"I've never experienced anything like this before. I'm quite shocked. I need a hot cup of tea with some sugar.
"I've been trying to get hold of my family to tell them I am all right, but all the networks are down."
Mr Childes said the explosion happened about 9.20am.
More than two hours later the whole area from Russell Square to the scene of the blast remained cordoned off by police.
At least half a dozen buses stood abandoned nearby.
Taxi driver Michael Michael, 48, from Cockfosters in north London, was due to pick up a fare from University College Hospital at 9.30am.
He was opposite the hospital in stationary traffic.
He said: "There were police everywhere, the roads were all gridlocked, nobody could move. I had to turn my car off at one point."
He turned off down a side street and ahead of him saw a bus explode. "It was in a bus, bam, the top of the bus just ripped up.
"I heard the sound, and I could see the bus from a distance. The roof went up. You could see a big impression in the roof and the rest of it was all off.
"It sounded like a gunshot, I thought it was a gunshot at first."
Bystander Raj Mattoo, 35, was standing on a corner when the bus exploded nearby.
He said: "The explosion seemed to be at the back of the bus. The roof flew off and went up about 10 metres. It then floated back down.
"I shouted at the passengers to get off the bus. They went into Tavistock Park nearby.
"There were obviously people badly injured. A parking attendant said he thought a piece of human flesh had landed on his arm."
The bomb near Russell Square rocked the Tavistock Hotel.
Receptionist Sam Elliott said: "People were running in, some obviously injured.
"One man was being carried by other passengers. We just did not know what had happened."
Parking attendant Ade Soji, 35, of Dagenham, Essex, said he had to run for his life after the bus exploded.
He said: "I was helping a member of the public with directions when the bus stopped and the driver asked me the name of the street. I told him Tavistock Square and he called me over.
"Just as I was about to go, I heard the bus explode.
"In another second I would have been dead. I had to run for my life. I looked back and saw the roof flying over."
It was then that he noticed his colleague, Pedro Da Silva, holding his head and in pain.
He took him to the Tavistock Hotel where he was being treated on the floor of the bar by a paramedic.
Mr Soji said: "I think a piece of metal hit him on the head and he can't get up."
Mr Soji's uniform was covered in blood.
He said: "I think this is blood from the passengers. I can't believe what has happened. Surely when you are working in central London you should be safe."