Witness: 'I didn't want to see what happened. It could have been me'

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The Independent Online

He did so against the advice of his heavily pregnant wife, Sweatal, who begged him to stay at home. But returning to work was important for the lighting shop manager who had just stepped off his train at Baker Street when it exploded into a mangled wreck of glass and metal. For the rest of the day Mr Shah, whose wife is two weeks away from giving birth to their first child, concentrated assiduously on his work: "I didn't want to see what had happened. I was afraid of what I would see. That could have been me."

For Mr Shah, like so many others caught in the terror that rocked London, there is a strong and undeserved sense of survivor's guilt. "I was selfish," he said bluntly. "You try and go back and help somebody but I was not allowed to go back. I just tried to get out. Everyone tried to get out. I just can't stop thinking about it.

"I can remember this man shouting 'please open the barriers there is something wrong underneath.' People were looking into the tunnels but you couldn't see anything. Everybody panicked and tried to get out," he said. "I was on a train that went through King's Cross just before the fire in 1987.

"This is my third life."