Grisly London bombings video shown to inquest
Eerie video footage of the devastation wrought by the 2005 London bombings was shown to the public for the first time Tuesday at the inquests into the deaths of 52 innocent passengers.
The courtroom was shown silent video from inside a gloomy metro train tunnel, revealing the wreckage left by the Aldgate station blast, which killed seven commuters and suicide bomber Shehzad Tanweer.
The bombings of three Underground trains at 8:49am on July 7, 2005 and a bus about an hour later, were the largest terror attacks on British soil.
The police camera footage, starting at 3:49 pm, descends into Aldgate station, in the City of London financial district, slowly moving down onto the empty platforms. Blood and rescue equipment are visible on the concourse.
It then goes into the darkness of the tunnel, towards the stricken train.
The side doors of the second carriage, next to where Tanweer stood, were blown out and buckled, with other doors in the second carriage similarly damaged.
Ladders go up to the train floor. The inside of the carriage was wrecked, with the floor littered with debris and the yellow hand rails blown down. The ceiling, ripped up, appeared to be spattered with a dark substance.
Personal belongings were visible, among them newspapers, clothing and bags. The seats were ripped up and apparently bloodstained.
The explosion had left a crater in the floor of the train. One victim, who had been standing close to Tanweer, was half in the crater, the hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London was told.
Outside the train, twisted metal lay on the tracks.
Hugo Keith, counsel for the inquests, whose role is to present information to the coroner overseeing the inquest, said the footage had been edited to ensure no dead bodies were shown.
"It is distressing in that this video shows the place where so many people tragically died," Keith told the inquest.
"Great care has been taken and the material has been edited and re-edited to make sure you do not see any of the deceased."
The long-awaited inquests will probe the reaction of the emergency services to the bombings and examine whether the intelligence services could have prevented the attacks.
The hearing is expected to last five months.
© 2010 AFP