United nations of grief

As the death toll rises to 49, the missing come from all over the world
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The Independent Online

The official death toll from the bombings has reached 49, but the figure is expected to rise.

Twenty-one bodies recovered from the Piccadilly line train outside Russell Squareare included in the toll, but an unknown number of bodies remain in the train. Seven people died at Edgware Road and seven at Aldgate and another 13 on the bus that exploded in Tavistock Square. A 49th person has died in hospital. At least 20 people are missing.

Eighty people are still in hospital, 20 of them in intensive care.

The Queen, the Prince of Wales and other members of the Royal Family toured the hospitals, meeting the injured and the medical staff caring for them.

The names of 20 commuters who have not made contact with their families and friends since Thursday morning - names such as Rachelle Chung For Yuen, from Mauritius; Monika Suchocka from Poland; and Anthony Fatayi-Williams from Nigeria - graphically underline the cosmopolitan character of the target city and the indiscriminate nature of the bombings.

Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said: "This was an attack not only on London but on humans from all over the world. This was an attack which was entirely arbitrary, random, irrespective of race, religion, colour, gender or age."

As in the aftermath of 9/11, some put up handmade posters or handed out photographs seeking information, hoping their loved ones might be somewhere, anywhere. Among those criss-crossing London was Yvonne Nash, partner of Jamie Gordon, 37, an office worker from Enfield, last heard of on Thursday morning boarding a bus in the Euston area. Yesterday morning, Miss Nash, 30, who works for Orange, managed to trace his phone and found it at the site of the bus explosion in Tavistock Square. She said: "I just have to find him. I have to know what happened. You cannot sleep, cannot eat when you are that worried about somebody. We don't know where he is and we are just desperate to find out." She and his colleagues were putting up posters around Tavistock Square.

The family of Rachelle Chung For Yuen, 27, an accountant from Mauritius, living in Mill Hill in north London, believed she may have been among those who died on the Piccadilly line. Yesterday they had already been to St Mary's hospital, University College hospital, St Thomas's and the Royal Free, checking the Royal London in the afternoon. They were beginning to lose hope. "I am really frustrated," said Jeffray Yeun, her brother-in-law. "I don't know what else we can do."

As their wait continued, police, forensic experts and emergency service workers began the terrible task of removing the remaining bodies from the train at Russell Square. These are trapped in the wrecked carriage, 500 yards from the station. Some reports called the scene inside the tunnel "carnage" and conditions "horrific" with fumes, rats, asbestos dust and stifling heat.

The damage to the tunnel - which is at risk of collapse - means the train might have to be dismantled before it can be checked. One option being considered is to detach carriages and tow them away to enable access to the wrecked front.

Sir Ian called the task at Russell Square one of "extraordinary horror". He said the operations at all the locations had to be conducted painstakingly, carefully and slowly because they were also crime scenes from which crucial evidence, such as bomb fragments, could be recovered.

At Friday prayers in mosques around Britain, Muslims were urged to stay "calm and vigilant" amid fears of reprisals. Muslim organisations widely condemned the attacks and thousands of worshippers attended a vigil in London and prayer services for the people killed and injured.

Returning to London from the G8 summit at Gleneagles, Tony Blair chaired a further meeting of Cobra, the civil contingencies committee. George Bush praised the steadfast British spirit as he arrived back in Washington to sign a book of condolences.

'Acts of selfless dedication kept city together'

By Nigel Morris

Ken Livingstone issued a defiant message to the London bombers, telling them he would travel to work by Tube on Monday - and he urged other commuters to follow his example.

He made his comments shortly after flying back from Singapore, where he saw London's triumph in clinching the 2012 Olympics.

Mr Livingstone praised the work of emergency services and transport staff for their "acts of selfless dedication" and Londoners for their stoicism and courage. "There are places where such things could have unleashed internal strife and violence. In London the city stood together."

Mr Livingstone said a relief fund would be set up to provide assistance for the victims of the bomb blasts and the families of those who were killed or injured.