Thursday, July 07, 2005
I've had loads of emails and calls today from people making sure I wasn't caught up in the horror in London. I got to my office in EC1 at about 8:50. Five minutes later we heard there'd been an explosion at Liverpool Street. At first, we didn't think much of it, but then more reports started to come in - there'd been a power surge on the tube; reports that two tube trains had crashed. A lot of my colleagues were late because the Underground had shut down. Two girls who were turfed off the train rang in to say they'd be getting the bus.

Then we heard there'd been an explosion on a bus. Suddenly, it was clear this was terrorism. The information coming in was patchy and unreliable. Texts and calls started coming in from people at home watching TV. Ambulances screamed past the office, sirens wailing. The two girls who were getting the bus in hadn't arrived yet. No-one could get hold of them - and then we got the bad news. One of them was in hospital. The other missing. The office manager rushed to the hospital where the first girl had been taken; we heard she had a collapsed lung. Finally, we got news of our missing colleague - she was also in hospital, being treated for burns on her legs. The first girl was okay, with, in the end, just cuts and bruises. But they had been on the bus that got blown up. The burned girl, who has lived in London, had never been on a bus before - she hates them and is scared of them.

At 3pm I left the office to walk to Cannon Street station, not knowing if it was going to be open. None of the tubes or buses were running and the streets were fuller than I've ever seen them - thousands of people walking the streets, just wanting to get home. Luckily, I found a train to Tunbridge Wells where I sit now, dazed and emotional.

What a day. Yesterday, the city was euphoric because of the Olympics. Only a few days before that, the optimism of Live 8. What a week.