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HomeNewsLondon bomb inquests told of 'wave of horror'

London bomb inquests told of ‘wave of horror’

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THE LONDON suicide attacks of July 7, 2005, might have been planned for the previous day and the bombers were prepared to fight police and throw improvised bombs at them, the victims’ inquests was told yesterday.

The first day of the inquests into deaths of the 52 people heard the victims had been killed in acts of merciless savagery during an “unimaginably dreadful wave of horror.”

Four British men – Mohammad Sidique Khan, 30, Shehzad Tanweer, 22, Hasib Hussain, 18, and Jermaine Lindsay, 19, – detonated homemade bombs on three packed underground trains and a bus in the worst peacetime attacks in London.

The long-awaited inquests – which had to wait until all criminal trials of alleged associates of the bombers had ended – are the first public examination of the blasts and the events leading up to them.

They are expected to last five months, will call 240 witnesses as well as a couple hundred more statements, and use the largest investigation database created by the Metropolitan Police containing more than 40,000 exhibits.

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Yesterday, the inquests heard how London Underground, responded, somewhat chaotically, to the unfolding outrage. Senior managers initially thought there had been a power outage or power surge hitting many train lines.

Emergency calls made to the tube’s control centre by station staff played to the court talked of a “person under a train” or a train “hitting a tunnel wall.”

The coroner, Lady Justice Heather Hallett, who is sitting without a jury, opened the hearing by pledging to release as much material as possible to the public.

“I will balance carefully the needs of national security with relevance and fairness,” she said. She will examine the role of the security services and whether MI5 could and should have stopped the attacks.

Hallett promised the families of the victims that though it will be necessary to see and hear extremely disturbing material “no graphic images” of the bombings or of their injured loved ones will be made available on the web.

Apart from those killed, some 700 people were injured or severely maimed. Many still bare deep psychological scars.

After a minute’s silence for the victims, lawyer to the inquests, Hugo Keith, outlined how the four suicide bombers carried out the bombings but admitted that some of the questions revolving around the attacks might never be fully answered.

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