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These Are Our Memories Of London's Terrorist Attacks

Here's what British people remember from the 7/7 attacks 10 years ago.

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On 6 July 2005, London celebrated winning the 2012 Olympic bid. The next day, the city was hit by a series of coordinated suicide bomb attacks.

Four bombs targeting civilians went off during rush hour, on underground trains at Liverpool Street, Edgware Road, and near Russell Square and on a bus in Tavistock Square. Fifty-two innocent bystanders travelling around the city were killed, and more than 770 were injured.

Ten years later, British people still have vivid memories of that day. We asked BuzzFeed readers to share what they remember. Here's what they had to say.

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Christopher Lee / Getty

"A rumour was spreading through the class that something big had happened in London."
"We heard at first that it was 'electrical difficulties', then a body on the track, then a crash... Our school went into lockdown, and we all sat in the school hall as teachers came in and took students away. Sobbing would erupt from across the room as a phone rang."
"We were told that there was some sort of severe power issue. I stayed clueless for some time. On the road, people queued or took cabs for their onward journey, but it was hectic. I saw one woman crying the entire time I was waiting for a bus; no one else really gave any indication that I should be scared or confused. No one spoke to me. I eventually gave up on getting a bus and decided to walk down to Barbican to see if I could get a tube from there. The station was shut, and the man outside wasn't able to tell me anything. By this time I was frustrated and went home on the bus. The bus was relatively empty and even then no one told me to be scared."
"I'd got to work early, about 8.30am. I was working in Soho. People started to trickle into work complaining of tube issues. At first, we were just told it was a power surge… We learned more as the day unfolded."
"I remember reading the very first reports of electrical faults on the tube on teletext. I went downstairs to tell my mum and both of us knew something wasn't right, something was going on. It's impossible to explain, but we both knew something major had happened and had a very strange sense of foreboding."
"I was at school about 100 miles away from London. We had a lesson, [and were] mucking about on the internet rather than completing our boring projects. One of my friends went on to the BBC News homepage and we saw there was a photo of a person with the burn mask on their face. Before we could find out more our teacher stopped us from reading about it and refused to answer questions."
"I remember being on the bus and the bus driver getting word that something had happened on another bus in town and that every bag needed to be searched on the bus we were on. At this point, I started to get a bit unnerved, but I was really stuck in that mindset – ‘Nothing like that could happen here.'"
"That morning at work, we could hear what sounded like an explosion of some sort. We heard it was to do with an electrical fault, but then people who were listening to the radio said there had been bomb attacks at the tubes that a lot of our staff used. The next thing we knew a colleague had come down two floors and said one of our members of staff hadn't come into work."
"I don't remember much except for being in the car and getting stuck in traffic. When I looked outside my window, a massive puff of black smoke was in the sky and I was in awe. I had no idea what was going on."

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Adrian Dennis / Getty

"The first we were aware something had happened was when streams of people started evacuating the underground on to the streets. It was a very panicked and tense atmosphere, and soon police arrived to guide the crowds of people to safety."
"My wife, daughter and myself were staying in a hotel at Russell Square. We heard the explosion. As a soldier, I knew what a bomb sounded like."
"I remember being blown backwards down the platform. The bomb had gone off a little bit further down the line, and I ended up with a broken arm."
"I remember getting to King's Cross just as they were evacuating people. I remember a colleague walking into the office with soot on his face because he had been aboard one of the trains that was hit and had to be evacuated through a tunnel."
"I was at a café in Ascot that afternoon and saw a woman with a bandage on her face. I found out she was near one of the buses when the bomb went off."

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"I was at school in year 9, and had a phone call to say my dad was on the Edgware Road train and no one could get hold of him. I was terrified and wandered around my school in a daze. Eventually he managed to get hold of me. He was in shock and told me he had to step over dead bodies to get out of the train tunnel. He still can't really speak about it, and I know he still has reservations about using trains in London, even 10 years later."
"As I left the hospital with my new baby, all the casualties that were coming in were covered in blood."

Edmond Terakopian / PA

"I was a paramedic working for London Ambulance on that day. My normal day would have been working at the ambulance station nearest to King's Cross, but that day I was doing training. Major incident training. About half an hour into the day, the trainer came into the room and said 'Guys, we are going to have to skip the theory and go to the practical... We have a power surge on the tube.' We soon realised it was much, much more. Me and my colleague drove on blue lights to central London, watching people pour off buses and out of tube stations. Everyone, and I mean everyone, got out of our way."

Carl De Souza / Getty

"I was on a Piccadilly line tube train, we came to a stop in the tunnel between Arsenal and Holloway Road. The driver came on to the Tannoy after a while, [and] explained the power had cut out and that we were stuck for now. Later, he came on again to say they were sending a train down from Arsenal to get us so we all had to transfer across. He walked through the train, escorting a pregnant woman. Pity the poor people who'd been at the very front – somehow not all of us could squash on to the rescue train, and so some people had to wait for it to be sent back down for them. We spent two hours waiting down there. When no one at home or work had heard from me in those two hours after the bombs went off, some had started to fear the worst."
"The train network was down and over my radio a bus driver told us that a bus had exploded in front of him. Our tour guides couldn't make it into work so I covered their shift. I took a tour of 40 tourists on an open-top bus. The police asked me not to let anyone off the bus. We drove for over three hours and we were the last bus unaccounted for in central London."

Gareth Cattermole / Getty

Reuters

"My mum was on the tube behind the one that blew up. She missed that tube because she bought a croissant and a tea. She then went to the bus station but realised she'd just missed the bus she needed to get, so she decided to walk. Then she heard that the bus had blown up. She went and sat in a beer garden with her colleagues, all of them worried about leaving to go home."
"We were in the last carriage. We could smell burning. Half the carriage wanted to stay inside and wait for rescue. Half wanted to escape on to the tracks. There were arguments about whether the fire was on the train or outside the train."
"I remember walking past a bus. Fifteen seconds later, that bus exploded."

Gareth Cattermole / Getty

"I remember a bang. I remember the smoke and wondering if I could breathe and the panic in people's faces. I remember how people had to break the windows of the train to let air in. There was very little communication between carriages, but I remember one thing. I remember screaming for help coming up from the tunnel. I remember 45 minutes feeling like the rest of my life. I cried, holding on to a railing, not talking to anyone. Wanting people to talk to me, to help me. I needed help. I needed to get out. Forty-five minutes later, we had to walk down the tunnel, lit by mobile phones. I remember being so scared walking down the tunnel. As soon as I got to King's Cross, I saw the others around me and walked home. Covered in soot and dirt, crying my eyes out, I ran home. I walked miles for two hours."
"I was working at BT on the emergency switchboard. The day started like any other day, except before long we started receiving unprecedented call volumes – twice as many emergency calls than we would usually get on a Thursday morning, and most of a similar nature: 'I can't connect to my wife/husband/girlfriend's mobile.' It wasn't long before we knew what was happening and were advised that we weren't allowed to tell anyone that called what was happening in London."
"Initially we were told that mobile networks were being shut down in case they were what were triggering the bombs, but it became clear that the sheer volume of calls meant people, and more importantly the emergency services at the scene, weren't able to connect with each other. Some mobile networks made the decision to shut down to the public. We couldn't connect calls to mobiles, and we weren't allowed to tell people why."
"I remember hearing about the attacks while I was in form time at my all-girl secondary school. There was an all-out panic, with girls screaming and frantically trying to call their parents who worked in London, no matter how far from the incident they worked. What stuck with me the most was my form tutor standing up and telling us that our mindless panic was exactly what the terrorists wanted, and that we should never give people like that the satisfaction of knowing they had terrorised us. We all sat down calmly and carried on with form time, with only the periodic sigh of relief as each person got news from loved ones of their safety."
"I was asleep in my university halls a couple of streets away from the Bloomsbury bus explosion. I was awoken by the sounds of helicopters and my phone ringing. It was my dad frantically asking if I was OK."
"Everyone was convinced their family members were dead."
"We phoned the home of our colleague and heard she had left for work. She should have been in. We didn't know what to do. We reported her name to the police, but as the day went on, it went grimmer and grimmer when we realised something had probably happened to her."
"I was 10 years old and in primary school at the time. I don't really remember how I heard about it, but I do remember that when I did I was terrified because my mum was at work in London that day. I spent a hour or so panicking until a member of the school office came and told me that my mum had gotten in contact to say she was fine. It was only a few years later that my mum told me the whole story of the day, how she would have been caught in the blast had she gotten on the tube half an hour later. How she and her colleagues at work had no real idea what was going on. How eventually she managed to get an email through. How she ended up having to walk through London for hours to find a way home because all the tubes and buses had ground to a halt. How the train was completely silent."
"When the breaking news reports were on the TV, I remember my name being screamed and I ran into the room. My entire family looked at me and I fell to the floor praying that the worst hadn't happen to my boyfriend. I tried calling him for hours but I wasn't able to get a hold of him. Every possible situation was going through my head. When I finally heard his voice I had never been more happy, not even the day we got married. That day I realised that I couldn't live without him."
"We all had this kind of silent sympathy for one another, knowing that everyone around you was terrified for the safety of their loved ones and the safety of our city."

Stuart Clarke / Rex USA

"My mum called up my school and told them to make sure I knew that she was fine. I felt relieved, up until the moment I passed a year 7 girl crying in the hallway. When I asked what was wrong, she told me that her mum was on one of the buses and that she will never see her again, to which I broke down right next to her. To this day, now I'm 23, I think about that day. How we all were affected but especially how that young girl went to school that day thinking it was just another morning, and her whole life changed. I'll never forget the sound of her cries."
"I walked to meet my husband from work with my daughter as he didn't work far from home and I encountered literally hundreds of people walking down the road making their way home from work by foot as the buses and tubes weren't running. It was surreal – no one was chatting or laughing. Everyone looked a bit grim and shell-shocked. When the buses got back to normal a few days later, I kept glancing at the number 30 top deck and noticing no one would sit up there. It was always empty. One afternoon I was with a few of my female relatives and we saw someone sitting on the top deck of the 30 bus (alone) and my relatives started clapping and cheering him."
"I hadn't spoke to my father for many years, but I knew he got the tube to Edgware every day. When I got the news that he was OK, it changed my outlook on everything. He had got off the tube before the one that was hit by a bomb. I could have easily never spoken to him again. But it taught me to grow up pretty quickly. I learnt about utter devastation and forgiveness in that one day."
"If I hadn't been late to work that day I would've been killed on the tube by Moorgate. I'd never seen police armed with machine guns before, the city was deserted – I gave up working in London for five years. I still hate going on the tube – it was so, so senseless, that someone I had never even met would want to kill me."
"On that day, I saw a man getting headbutted on the train because it was so full. I think he was Muslim, and I am sure it was directly related to the news."

Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Getty

"I was 9 years old at the time. I remember seeing the person with their face covered in a white mask on the front of all of the papers. It really hit me hard, and it was the first time I had come across terrorism. When you live in the Western world, you take everything for granted, and even from a young age it made me realise we're not safe."
"I remember walking from Holborn to Finsbury Park and seeing a group of people playing frisbee like nothing at all had happened. That, more than anything else, encapsulated for me how the British deal with adversity."
"If the Northern line had been running that day, I could be motherless."
"I'm from the US, but my family spends much of the summer visiting family in London. That day, we were supposed to meet friends from home and take them around the city. We started heading toward the tube, but my mom told my sister and me that it was a nice day for walking, and we covered three miles on foot instead. We scrapped our museum plans, and spent the rest of the day on a playground in Hyde Park. Only weeks later did I realise there was more to the story – as with 9/11, my parents did a smooth job of masking the severity of the situation."
"I remember being 21 years old and I'd been dithering about applying for my nursing training at the time. When the news broke and I saw the utter devastation and the pictures of the injured innocent people, my heart leaped and propelled me into action. The next year I was accepted, and three gruelling and rewarding years later I qualified as a staff nurse and have worked in acute and critical care ever since. The 7/7 bombings were a horrific and unjustified slaughter of innocent people. That day will always be enshrined in my heart as the day I decided to fight against evil and protect and care for others."

Jack Guez / Getty

"My father commuted into London for work from our home in Birmingham, and was down the street from the bus which was targeted – they heard it go off from their office building. I remember him saying he ended his class early and made sure his Asian students booked hotels. Once people found out it was to do with terrorism the climate in the streets changed, so he walked them to their hotels and made sure they were OK. I was terrified he had been caught up in it as I knew the attacks were close to his workplace."
"For the first time, I realised I was mixed race and had an Islamic last name."
"My dad's (Muslim) friend described how people on the bus would move away from him since he carried a backpack, which seemed so strange to me since I would never see him as any sort of threat."
"A few days later, I met up with a close friend of mine. Her brother had been on the King's Cross train – he threw himself on the floor when the explosion hit. He broke his arm but it saved his life. The people sitting either side of him died. To this day, his mum thinks he fell over messing around with his mates, because he couldn't bear to tell her how close he had come to death. I remember my friend speaking of when she finally got through to him on the day it happened – he picked up the phone and all she could hear was screaming."
"People who aren't British don't seem to get it. But to me, the fact that by Monday we were back to beating people out of the way for a seat on the tube shows the enduring blitz spirit this city has."

Jack Guez / Getty

Audio credits: 'July 7th London Bombings inquest' / Wideshut.co.uk / YouTube; Ken Livingstone: London United' / BBC / YouTube
Title photo credits: Pascal Le Segretain / Stephen Munday / Paco Serinelli / Andrew Parsons / Getty / AFP / PA / BuzzFeed

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