7/7 bombings: Tube driver recalls the moment a bomb exploded yards from his train at Edgware Road

Jeff Porter, 56, still drives Tubes on exactly the same line

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Jeff Porter cannot help being reminded of the horrific moment a bomb exploded on a Tube as he drove a train in the opposite direction.

For the 56-year-old returned to work despite the trauma of witnessing the carnage caused by the blast - and still drives Tubes on exactly the same line.

Speaking to the Press Association from his cab, the father of two pauses shortly after pulling out of Edgware Road station on the Circle Line to point out the spot where the explosion happened on a train travelling in the opposite direction.

"I saw the train coming in the opposite direction. I recognised the driver. As the second carriage passed I saw what looked like a dull, orange bubble expanding. I had no idea what it was.

 

"It suddenly became completely dark and the train seemed to accelerate away.

"I heard lots of screaming, but I couldn't see a thing. Everything was just black.

"I stopped the train and I could hear the other train slowly grinding to a halt - then there was absolute silence for a moment. I just wondered what on earth had happened. It just didn't make any sense.

"I could hear someone calling out 'help me, help me', and passengers started knocking on my door. I made an announcement telling people to sit tight and we were sorting things out."

Mr Porter admits it did not register that a bomb had exploded yards from his train, but he realised there had been a serious incident when a colleague banged on his window, shouting out that people were dead, and others were dying.

He jumped down on to the track and made a Mayday call to his controller as he heard passengers on the bombed Tube screaming and crying.

One woman on his train told him at this moment that she suffered from panic attacks.

Mr Porter helped evacuate hundreds of passengers, saying he tried to remain calm amid the chaos.

He says now it only became clear it was a bomb some time after the explosion because it was so unexpected, with no warning.

London was still basking in winning its bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, and there was no obvious threat of an attack.

"That is why there was so much confusion about whether there had been a power surge."

Mr Porter took a couple of months off work before gradually returning to his job, but will never forget that fateful day.

He is now sensitive to dust and loud bangs even though he never actually heard the sound of the bomb exploding.

Mr Porter is popular with his colleagues and used to be a local councillor, but after the events of a decade ago he finds it difficult to deal with any kind of conflict.

Asked what he feels about the bombers, he said: "They were terribly misguided. It just didn't make any sense - what on earth did they think they could achieve?"

He is planning to spend a few days by the seaside over the anniversary.

Press Association

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