Mother of two is first victim of blasts to be identified

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The Independent Online

Yesterday, exactly four days - almost to the minute - after the explosion devastated the Piccadilly line train on which she was travelling, Mrs Levy's name and image were being flashed around the world after she became the first victim of the London bombings to be officially identified by Scotland Yard.

Within a few minutes of the announcement that Mrs Levy had been the first person to be named by a specially formed Identification Commission, international news agencies and internet news sites began to transmit the picture of a smiling, blonde-haired woman.

As the number of confirmed fatalities from the bombings rose to 52, an inquest into the death of Mrs Levy was formally opened and adjourned at St Pancras coroner's court.

The coroner, Andrew Reid, was told that Mrs Levy had been taken to the Royal London Hospital suffering from "massive injuries" as a result of the attack and died later that day. The coroner's officer, Sharon Duff, told the court that Mrs Levy was one of the "mass fatalities" of the day. After the formalities, which lasted two minutes, the coroner concluded by asking the coroner's officer to pass his condolences to her family.

Mrs Levy, who lived in Cuffley, with her husband, Harry, and sons, had travelled to Finsbury Park in north London by overground train, with her younger son, Jamie, 23. They parted company at the station when she switched to the Piccadilly line for the rest of her journey.

Her husband, a London black cab driver, issued a statement saying: " Susan was a devoted and much-loved wife and mother of two sons. We are all devastated by our loss. She was a valued and respected member of her extended Jewish family and will be deeply mourned and sadly missed by us and her many friends. We are all distraught at her needless loss and our thoughts and prayers are also with the many other families affected by this horrendous tragedy." No details have been released about her occupation or place of work.

The second victim to be identified was Gladys Wundowa, 51, a cleaner, who was killed in the bus bomb at Tavistock Square. Although she has not been formally identified by the commission, her employer, University College London (UCL), issued a statement confirming her death.

Mrs Wundowa, from Chadwell Heath, Essex, was married with two children; her husband, Emmanuel, 53, is a security guard. She had just finished a morning shift in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the university and was heading towards Shoreditch for a course. She is believed to have caught the No 30 bus which exploded in Tavistock Square.

Professor Malcolm Grant, president and provost of UCL, said: "It has been an exceptionally difficult time for everyone at UCL. Our thoughts are with all those who have been the casualties of this outrage."

UCL also said that Professor Philip Patsalos, from the Institute of Neurology, had been seriously injured.

Scotland Yard said the official death toll had risen from 49 to 52 as a result of the discovery of three more bodies during investigation of the Piccadilly line train, which remains lodged in the tunnel between King's Cross and Russell Square. Conditions at the crash site are said to horrendous and police said the final death toll could rise.

All the bodies have now been removed from the other locations and taken to the mortuary at the Honourable Artillery Company in the City of London.

A number of other people remain in a critical condition, out of a total of 56 still being treated at hospitals around London. More than 70 family liaison teams have been assigned to the friends and next-of-kin of the dead and seriously injured. One of the seriously injured is unconscious and police have been unable to find any means of identification or links to any of those named as missing.

Scotland Yard said an undisclosed number of the victims had been informally identified by a variety of means - such as credit cards - but formal confirmation by relatives or friends was likely to take much longer.

More than 40 people have been reported as missing by their friends and relatives, with further names added to the list yesterday.