The inquest into the 7.7 tube and bus bombings in London – the worst terrorist outrage on British soil – heard yesterday from one of the most seriously injured survivors. Thirty-one year old Daniel Biddle lost both legs and an eye.
Mr Biddle’s presence on the train was down to a chapter of accidents. When he was waiting on the platform at Liverpool Street, he let the first train go because it was so crowded. Then he boarded the ill-fated service, meaning to get off at Baker Street, but missed his stop because he was texting, and so was still on the train when Mohammad Sidique Khan detonated his bomb at Edgware Road.
Mr Biddle said Khan was sitting about eight feet away from him. The bomber took a quick look up and down the carriage, then there was a rapid movement of his arm, and a “big, white flash”. The carriage expanded quickly, and then contracted just as fast, and Mr Biddle was blown off his feet and through the carriage doors into the tunnel. Adrian Heili, a trained first aider, clambered under the train to reach him, and freed him from under a carriage door.
Mr Biddle spent weeks in a coma. Seven people, including the bomber, died on the train. Another 50 people, including 3 more bombers, were killed in the 2005 attacks, and more than 700 were injured.