'Courageous' doctor thanked for comforting 7/7 victims

A doctor spoke today of her distress at being unable to do more to help dying victims of the 7/7 attacks.

Gerardine Quaghebeur said she was "completely on her own" without any first aid supplies and could only offer comfort to those horrifically injured in the 2005 Aldgate bombing.



She also described her anger at fellow passengers who stopped to take pictures of the stricken Tube carriage where suicide bomber Shehzad Tanweer had detonated his device.



The coroner hearing the inquests for the 52 victims of the atrocities said Dr Quaghebeur underestimated the importance of what she did in providing assistance "with great courage, determination and humanity".



And the father of Carrie Taylor, 24, who died in the Aldgate blast, thanked the doctor for staying with his daughter so she was not alone in her final moments.



Dr Quaghebeur, 50, a consultant neuroradiologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, was travelling to her second job in London on the morning of July 7 2005 when she became caught up in the attacks.



She ended up sitting around 15ft from Tanweer on an eastbound Circle Line service after allowing an earlier train to pass because it was too crowded.



The doctor told the inquests that the train had just left Liverpool Street station when there was an explosion like a "whoosh" that made her hair stand on end.



After some time, people from the other carriages started to leave the train and walk down the tracks to the safety of Aldgate station.



Dr Quaghebeur was about to join them when she looked to her right and for the first time saw the dead and dying passengers in her carriage.



One of the injured, professional dancer Crystal Main, looked at her and said, "You can't be leaving us - you're not going to leave us?"



The doctor replied, "No, no, I'll stay", and asked if she could remain on the train.



Miss Taylor, a finance officer at the Royal Society of Arts from Billericay, Essex, was making involuntary movements and appeared to have spinal and head injuries, the hearing was told.



Dr Quaghebeur cradled the young woman in her arms to comfort her for about an hour.



The emergency services did not arrive to help for some time, but in the meantime other passengers continued their evacuation from the train.



She said: "I could see people walking down the platform, obviously having come off the rest of the train and walking up to the station. They all walked past in a row and nobody came.



"Well, that's not true. A couple of people came to take pictures, which I got really annoyed about and I got cross. I think a policeman said they would stop (them) doing that."



Dr Quaghebeur told the inquests she did not feel she achieved anything on the wrecked train.



"I am a doctor, but really I was no more professional - what can you do in a situation like that?" she said.



"You can't do anything, you're completely on your own, you have no first aid to give, you have no airway to give.



"You have absolutely nothing to give other than to maybe comfort the people that are alive."



Miss Taylor's father John asked her why she stayed on the train.



She replied: "It was to comfort her and it was to comfort some of the other people in the carriage and not leave them alone."



Mr Taylor said simply: "Thank you very much for that."



The inquests have heard that Dr Quaghebeur shouted while looking after Miss Taylor, "Get me a medic. This woman has only minutes to live if I don't get a medic".



Asked about this, she said: "I don't recall saying that, but it's quite possible I did. I did at one stage get a bit distressed.



"It's possible that if people had got off the train earlier they may have been alive getting off the train. I still very much doubt whether the outcome would be any different."



Mr Taylor asked her: "It was your opinion that Carrie would not have survived unless she got medical aid immediately?"



She answered: "Nobody would survive an injury like that without aid. I still don't know whether she would have survived if aid had come earlier."



Fellow passenger Melvin Finn told the inquests today that he believed Miss Taylor was still alive when he left the train.



Dr Quaghebeur needed treatment at the Royal London Hospital for the effects of smoke inhalation, a perforated ear drum and cuts and bruises.



After she completed her evidence, the coroner, Lady Justice Hallett, told her: "Thank goodness that you let that first train pass.



"I know it was awful for you, but I think you underestimate the importance of what you did achieve.



"You offered comfort and assistance to some people in dire distress and dire circumstances.



"In my judgment you behaved with great courage, determination and humanity, and there are a number of people who have very great cause to be grateful to you."



Another survivor of the Aldgate attack described being knocked out by the blast for 30 minutes and awaking to see a scene like a "video nasty".



Hilary Collyer recalled asking a fellow passenger what had happened and being told, "I think there's been a bomb, love".



She also said she was classed as a "priority two" for medical aid but had to wait around an hour to be taken to hospital after she was evacuated.



Terrence Hiscock, who was also in the same carriage as Tanweer, said he saw a hand moving slowly in the crater left by the blast.



Four suicide bombers armed with homemade explosives packed into rucksacks launched co-ordinated attacks on three Tube trains and a bus in London on July 7 2005.



The inquests, which are expected to last up to five months, are looking at whether the emergency services' response was adequate and whether the security agencies could have prevented the attacks.



The hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London was adjourned until tomorrow.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Danish director Lars von Trier
tvEnglish-language series with 'huge' international cast set for 2016
Life and Style
tech
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
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

Year 3 Teacher Cornwall

£23500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 3 Primary Teacher...

HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbridge Wells - £32,000

£30000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbrid...

Year 3 Teacher Plymouth

£23500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 3 Primary Teacher...

Junior Software Developer - Newcastle, Tyne & Wear - £30,000

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Junior Web Developer / J...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering