7/7 victim saved by 'favourite seat' - Home News - UK - The Independent

7/7 victim saved by 'favourite seat'

A scientist only survived the 7/7 attacks because he was sitting in his "favourite" seat on one of the Tube trains targeted by suicide bombers, an inquest heard today.









Professor Philip Patsalos lost a leg in the blast on the Piccadilly Line service targeted by Jermaine Lindsay, 19, between King's Cross and Russell Square stations in London on July 7 2005.



But he said he would have been killed if he had opted for his second favourite seat, which was just inches from where the teenage terrorist detonated his device.



Prof Patsalos also described how a member of the emergency services passed by him in the bombed carriage, apparently thinking he was dead because he was surrounded by motionless bodies.



On the morning of the bombings, he had a "very modest" lie-in before setting off for the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in central London, the inquests for the 52 victims of the attacks heard.



As usual he got on the first carriage of the Piccadilly Line train at Southgate Tube station and chose his favourite seat, number 90 on a plan used by the inquest team.



Prof Patsalos, an epilepsy specialist at University College London's institute of neurology, said he was "fortunate" to end up in his first choice seat that day.



"If I was seated on seat 90, I was about 3ft away from the bomber," he told the hearing.



"If I sat on my second favourite seat, I would have been 3cm from the bomber and I wouldn't be here today."







The scientist thought about leaving the train when it was delayed at Arnos Grove station but concluded it was better to stay on.



The service had just left King's Cross station when he felt a sudden shock and a surge of electricity going through his body.



He told the inquests: "I was shaking, I remember seeing my brain, my skeleton. I could see peculiar things.



"I remember thinking to myself, 'when is this going to finish?' It finished soon afterwards - it probably only lasted a few seconds, but it seemed like eternity."



Prof Patsalos recalled hearing screams and cries from the other passengers and seeing a young man jumping from seat to seat "like a chimpanzee" to get out of the train.



"I couldn't actually move, I could not see what had happened to me," he said.



"I felt down with my left hand my left leg, which is actually the leg that was particularly damaged as it was closest to the bomb.



"It was rather mushy and I thought, 'that's not good', and I started thinking to myself, 'I've got to stay alive, I'm going to die here'.



"And as time went on I thought, 'OK, I must survive, I must not die and if I need to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair, so be it'."



He tried not to panic to avoid putting himself under further stress.



"I stayed calm and breathed in as slowly as necessary. My number one priority, as I could not do anything for anybody else, was to stay alive," he said.



Eventually a member of the emergency services appeared in the train, but he at first ignored the academic.



Prof Patsalos said: "He had a torch and he went over to my right and disappeared. I thought, 'why hasn't he stopped to say something to me?'



"Clearly the reason was because I was surrounded by motionless bodies, I would assume, and he thought I was also dead."



The scientist was carried out of the train on a stretcher to Russell Square station and taken to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London.



He lost his left leg but his right leg, which was also badly injured, was saved by surgeons.



Prof Patsalos said he did not actively tell people that he now has a prosthetic limb, and some colleagues assumed he just had a knee or hip problem.



"I think I've dealt with it by being in denial in a way," he said.



"I've tried very hard to move forward and be positive, and try to fit into normal life and my environment, and I think I've coped very well."



He added: "How I survived, I don't know. Somebody saved me... I'm grateful."

Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'I felt like that was the lowest I’d ever felt'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
News
A plane flies close to the eruption of the Icelandic volcano
newsAnd yes, it's quite something
Sport
Tito Vilanova passed away aged just 45
footballThe club's former manager died in April, less than a year after he stood down
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch
artAnd it's even for a good cause
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig is believed to be donning skies as 007 for the first time
Life and Style
techCriminals are targeting an e-reader security flaw
Life and Style
tech... and together they're worth at least £100 million
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
News
newsBut just how much does a 122-carat coloured diamond go for these days?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Retail Business Analyst

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...

Senior C++ Developer

£400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...

PE Teacher (Female)

Negotiable: Randstad Education Bristol: Teacher of Girls PE for Wiltshire scho...

Retail Business Analyst - Retail-J

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week