Olympic bid advisor describes 7/7 ordeal

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The Independent Online

A legal advisor to the London 2012 Olympic bid described today how she was blown from a Tube train by one of the deadly July 7 explosions.

Thelma Stober lost her right leg when suicide bomber Shehzad Tanweer detonated his bomb on an eastbound Circle Line train, killing seven people near Aldgate station.

She told the inquests into the deaths of the 52 people killed in the 2005 atrocities that she only decided to travel to work after the city unexpectedly won the Games the previous day.

Mrs Stober, a senior member of the London Development Agency, said there was a "flash" and she felt as if she was "circling around for what seemed like an awful long time".

She said: "I could see metal stuck on my left side. There was blood coming from my left foot profusely and there was a hand on my head. I lifted the hand and he fell.

"I thought that people had died. I could see people on the train screaming. From the part where the door had been removed I could see a few people lying on the floor.

"My brain went into gear and I thought in disasters it is reasonable or natural for people to look after those who are alive before they look after the dead.

"I thought of my son who was seven years old and, silly enough, I thought I wanted to continue my work on the Olympics.

"So I tried to see if I could get up so people could see I was alive, to ask for help."

Describing how she lay on the tracks, Mrs Stober said she could see people walking down the tracks from Aldgate station towards the stricken train.

Crying openly, she added: "I put my hand up saying, 'help me, help me, I don't want to die.'

"What I did not do was to look around and see if I could help the man who was lying there.

"He was lying there not moving. I assumed he was dead. But I could have held his hand and I didn't."