Britain Remembers Its Worst Terror Attack of 21st Century

Woman tells how she escaped death on London train
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2015 8:23 AM CDT
Britain Remembers Its Worst Terror Attack of 21st Century
Poppy petals lie on the floor during a service in St Paul's Cathedral to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the London bombings in London today.   (AP Photo/Frank Augstein,pool)

"It was a split-second decision that probably saved my life," says Shanie Ryan. Ryan was a 20-year-old student riding the first car of a train in London on July 7, 2005, when her roommate got off at King's Cross station. She hopped out the door, gave him a hug, and turned back to find the car full. She found a spot on the second car, not knowing that a man with a bomb was now in the space she had just occupied. Seconds later, between King's Cross and Russell Square, there was "a huge bang," Ryan tells the BBC. "The train screeched to a halt and a woman fell on me. It was like time stood still." As silence fell, Ryan began to hear "the hideous things next door," the quieting whimpers, "but I couldn't get in to help." Twenty-six people died in the first car, along with 26 others in four coordinated bomb attacks across London in what are now known as the 7/7 attacks—the worst terrorist act in Britain since 1988.

On today's 10th anniversary, citizens stood in silence at 11:30am local time, remembering the three bombings on London's Tube and one on a bus in Tavistock Square. Commuters are sharing tributes on Twitter using the hashtag #WalkTogether, reports the Guardian. Prime Minister David Cameron, London mayor Boris Johnson, and Prince Andrew were among those to gather for a memorial service at St. Paul's Cathedral, along with survivors and relatives of victims. Elsewhere, people gathered at the key bombing sites. In addition to the 52 dead, 700 were injured and some 4,000 were affected by the blasts, per the Telegraph. Hundreds, if not thousands, suffered mental health problems as a result, including Ryan, who was diagnosed with PTSD two years ago. She witnessed terror, but "on that day on the train, I didn't see one selfish person," she says. "It was at once the awful side of humanity, but also the magical side." (Read more United Kingdom stories.)

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