INDEPTH: LONDON BOMBING|
A first-person account
CBC News Online | July 8, 2005
Tanya Frenette is a Canadian who moved to London from Toronto in January. She and her husband Brad plan to return in August to have their baby in Canada. This is what happened to her on July 7, 2005, when four bombs exploded on the London transit system.
I was on the Tube at Edgware Road station on my way to work when we heard a loud bang. We were told it was a power failure and had to evacuate the Tube station.
Being relatively new to the city, I went outside, not knowing where I was or how to get to my work.
But I grabbed a Tube map on the way out of the station and saw a bus that was headed in the general direction I needed to go. I figured I could walk from the bus's destination, at least.
I got on the bus and we travelled for a while. The bus was diverted and stopped moving. The driver said he wasn't moving until he got directions for where to go.
I was on the bus for about 30-40 minutes. I borrowed someone's mobile so that I could call the temp agency to tell them that I was going to be late.
All of a sudden there was an explosion behind my bus.
The bus 25 feet behind us exploded. My bus leapt off the ground from the impact.
I was sitting in the middle of the last row of the bus, so I spun around and I saw the roof blow off. I saw a few people in the top part of the bus, their hair blowing from the explosion, and then the roof came crashing down on top of them.
It was the scariest thing I've ever seen.
Everyone started screaming and running for the exit. I was one of the last people to get off.
A woman named Jane grabbed my arm and asked me if I was OK. She saw that I was pregnant and wanted to help me get to safety. We stepped off the bus together and I looked to my left at the bus that had just exploded.
There was a single man just sitting there at the top in the front, and he was just looking straight ahead. There was debris and smoke everywhere and people were screaming and running in all directions.
Nobody knew how the bus blew up or where it came from.
I stopped to stare. Jane grabbed my arm and asked me what I was doing. She led me around the corner, about 10 feet away. She didn't want me to get caught up in the flow of people.
She walked me straight into a house called Mary Ward House where the people inside took care of us – gave us water and tea and biscuits, calmed us down and let us use their phones, bathrooms, etc.
They were extraordinary people who took care of six of us – three who had been on the bus – for about five hours.
We weren't allowed to leave the building or the area, so we all just stayed inside and tried our best to get a hold of everyone that we could.
Even though the phones weren't working – same with the internet and the mobile networks – I was able to finally get through to my husband Brad so that he knew I was OK and where I was.
The police weren't letting anyone in or out of the area. Brad walked across London to get to me, but could not get past the police.
The two Irish men who ran Mary Ward House left their wives with the others and went with me to talk the police into letting me pass. They went with me so I could meet Brad. It was very sweet of them.
They met Brad and we all talked for a while. They were very, very generous and nice and I couldn't have been luckier.
This was the most bizarre experience. All of us inside the safe house were so upset all morning, not knowing what had really happened. We were all sitting around a small radio trying to get whatever news we could.
On the way home, there was an eerie, bizarre feeling in the air as a mass of people walked home. There were a few buses, but nobody was in any rush to get on. And it was quiet. Nobody was talking.
Thursday is something I will never forget. I couldn't sleep last night. The baby kicked for about 2½ hours yesterday.
I feel deeply for all the people who were affected by this directly. I'm so very sorry for all those who lost someone.