Bus controller not told of 7/7 bombs for hour

Bus controllers were only told bombs had gone off on Tube trains after a fourth device detonated on a bus, the 7/7 inquest heard today.

There was a gap of nearly an hour between the first wave of three attacks on the London Underground at about 8.50am on July 7 2005 and the bombing of a number 30 bus in Tavistock Square at 9.47am.

However, it was not until 9.53am that the senior official with the power to halt the capital’s bus services was told bombs had been used on the Tube.

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The families of some of the 13 victims have questioned why London’s entire public transport network was not shut down.

But Alan Dell, London’s bus network liaison manager, said he would not have stopped the buses even if he had known about the earlier bombings.

He told the inquest London’s buses helped move more than 200,000 people from the Tube network. “All the indications, with hindsight, were that the attacks were taking place on the Underground,” he said.

Mr Dell did suspend all buses from central London after suicide bomber Hasib Hussain, 18, blew himself up in Tavistock Square.

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But even if the order had been issued to stop all buses earlier it would take 90 minutes and the teenage terrorist may still have been able to board a bus.

Mr Dell said it was only at 9.53am he learned a major incident had been declared and the word “bomb” was used.

The hearing continues.

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