London bombings remembered five years on

7th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday said those killed in the 2005 London bombings would "never be forgotten", as low-key ceremonies marked the fifth anniversary of the attacks.

The July 7, 2005 suicide bombings on three London Underground trains and a bus left 52 innocent people dead.

No official commemoration events took place, although wreaths were laid on behalf of Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson at the official memorial to the victims in London's Hyde Park.

Many survivors and relatives of victims gathered for private ceremonies at the sites of the four explosions.

"People in our country will remember where they were and what they were doing when that dreadful news came through," Cameron said in parliament.

"Our hearts should go out to the families and friends of those who died. They will never be forgotten.

"Our thoughts are also with those who were injured, physically and mentally, by the dreadful events of that day.

"It was a dreadful day but it is also a day that will remain, I believe, a symbol of the enduring bravery of the British people."

The woman behind one of the enduring images of the attacks, Davinia Turrell, who was pictured clutching a gauze surgical mask to her face in the aftermath of an explosion on an Underground train, has spoken of her ordeal for the first time.

She recalled how the whole left-hand side of her face was engulfed in a ball of fire when one of the suicide bombers detonated a bomb in the crowded morning rush-hour train.

"The train was just pulling out of Edgware Road station," the 29-year-old told London's Evening Standard newspaper.

"Then there was a loud bang and a ball of fire appeared from my left-hand side and seemed to go right round me and then quickly retracted."

Just eight days after suffering the burns, her face bore almost no sign of any damage.

The family of Miriam Hyman, killed by the bomb detonated on a bus, has used funds raised in her memory to set up an eye clinic in India which has already treated 18,000 children.

Her sister Esther Hyman told AFP: "There was a feeling amongst her loved ones that we needed to do something to make sure her life didn't go by unnoticed.

"It seems that her feet did take her -- some would call it the wrong place at the wrong time -- but I've come to believe it's fate playing itself out."

The attacks were carried out by British Muslims as London was still celebrating the decision announced the previous day to award the city the 2012 Olympics.

They were followed two weeks later by an attempt to replicate the bombings but the homemade explosives failed to detonate.

Intelligence services have warned that Britain remains at high risk from Islamic extremists.

The current terrorism threat level is "severe", meaning that a terrorist attack is considered highly likely.

© 2010 AFP

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