London Bombing: A Personal Account
Philip Fisher describes the events he experienced following the bombings in London on Thursday morning (7 July).
A bomb soon puts life into perspective.
After a half-hour delay in getting my train this morning, I arrived at King's Cross Thameslink and was turfed out into the street, as the train was emptied and the Tube station closed.
As I made my way along Euston Road, it became apparent that something major was going on, as both King's Cross and Euston stations were clearly closed and confused multitudes were thronging the streets.
I turned into Woburn Place at the same time as a number 30 bus, which would normally have headed straight towards Baker Street. The driver turned away one lucky lady at a bus-stop and he had got 50 yards ahead of me when I heard a bang, looked up and saw black smoke coming from the road. Seconds later, glass was flying at me and I turned around and bent over in a shower of it. Luckily I was unhurt and for the next 15 minutes, sheltered in the nearest building, courtesy of the British Medical Association.
I travelled the last 150 or so yards to work on the basis that this would be the safest place to shelter, if there was no transport to get me home. I was allowed in and over the next hour, watched more and more evacuation taking place until Russell Square was completely empty except for the emergency services.
We were trapped from around 10 o'clock until three and reached the farcical situation at lunchtime where all of the food in the office was shared out, amounting to little more than a few bags of crisps, some biscuits and drinks.
As PR Partner, I quickly became a media personality, speaking to three newspapers and a couple of radio stations. As soon as I finish this account, I'm expecting a call from some Canadian media.
As far as we know, all of our staff are safe and sound. We can't be sure though. While it is unlikely that a bus which should have been going away from our office would contain our people, a peak-time Tube train travelling between King's Cross and Russell Square is quite another matter.
I may have been close to the action but my managing partner, Mike Tovey, was even closer. He was in his car two vehicles behind the exploding bus and even at lunchtime, looked a little bemused.
It is amazing how generous friends can be in times of adversity. A dozen people have contacted me to check that I am OK from as far afield as Germany and the United States. This means an awful lot.
The main questions that the media have asked, other than the personal ones, relate to the impact that this anarchy will have on London. We have been there before and, provided that tomorrow is quiet, the stoical English will display that famous stiff upper lip and just get on with life. However, we must remember that several dozen people will not have that chance.
Reprinted from our sister site: AccountingWEB UK. Our thoughts and heartfelt support go out to our colleagues in the UK in the wake of these tragic events.