I see that there’s been a pretty major security alert in Birmingham, which is pretty much on my doorstep (about 20 minutes away). It seems that there were several suspect packages and a warning before-hand. The packages were blown up in controlled explosions but they were found to be harmless – however one was a box with wires and a switch hanging out of the top – so I’m not surprised that people were wary of it.
I’ve been chatting to my mate Paul (the guy on the right in the picture) and it seems that he was stuck in one of the underground trains behind the explosions. They had to get out at a station and walk the rest of the way to work, and this is when he stumbled upon streams of people coming out of Edgeware Road station with injuries. He wasn’t even 100% sure where he was, as he’s only been working in London for a short time. At this point he wasn’t aware what had happened – the tube he was on had simply stopped at the previous station and an announcer said, “Due to an incident at Edgeware Road we will have to stop the service here”.
Before the emergency services arrived, he helped move people into the Marks And Spencers and (as he’s received training in the past) started helping to treat people once medics arrived. It was at this point that a suspect package was pointed out and they had to clear the area – hence why he ran across the road with this poor girl, who couldn’t see much where whe was going and was in shock. This is where the photographers snapped the photo. They all turned up in a hotel across the road – he said that it was extremely weird at this point as people were having meetings in the hotel and carrying on as normal whilst medics and injured people poured in. It was only then that he saw on plasma screens that some bombs had gone off.
He’s now a bit bermused at the publicity – being on the front page of pretty much every newspaper and website on the planet is scary enough, but nothing in comparison to what some people went through. He wants to pass on a message to others that…
“I hope in a way that the terrorists do see the picture, I want them to realise that we will not go away and there’s hundreds of thousands of people who’d do exactly what I did in that situation. I hope it sends a message that they won’t win – they will never win.”