St Albans 7/7 survivor joins his saviour at memorial service

Phil Duckworth and Steve Eldridge

Phil Duckworth and Steve Eldridge - Credit: Archant

A St Albans survivor of the London bombings 10 years ago joined the tube driver who helped to rescue him at Tuesday’s memorial service at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Investment banker Phil Duckworth lost an eye when he was blinded by a splinter from a terrorist’s shin bone after a bomb was detonated on the Circle Line underground train on which he was travelling on July 7, 2005.

But in an interview with the BBC, which talked of the bond which had developed between himself and tube driver Steve Eldridge, he admitted that when he heard rescuers say ‘this one’s gone’ as they searched for survivors, it gave him the impetus he needed to demonstrate that he was still alive.

Phil, who gave extensive evidence to the inquest into the 7/7 bombings several years ago, had travelled to London from St Albans that morning on the same Thameslink train as the four bombers. They alighted at King’s Cross and he travelled on to Farringdon where he joined an eastbound Circle Line train and was standing just feet away from Shehzad Tanweer when the terrorist detonated his rucksack bomb.

The blast blew Phil on to the tracks and he recalled seeing a white flash after which everything went blank apart from the fact that he could hear a loud ringing noise. He said: “After that I didn’t remember anything until I came round on the tracks.

“I remember someone shining a light on me and saying ‘this one’s gone’ and i got angry about that. They thought I had died and I got some sort of adrenalin rush and got up on my knees.”

At that point, people started to help him including Steve who saw him stagger past his left shoulder and thought ‘Where did he come from’?

He added: “He slumped on the wall and I just had to catch him.” He admitted that Phil had suffered ‘horrendous injuries’ in the blast.

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Phil described how he had lost his eye and spoke about how his legs were badly damaged. He also felt the impact of the blast in his lungs and his hearing.

But his own ‘pig headedness’ had helped him in his personal recovery because he was determined to carry on with his life.

The two men, who have kept in touch in the years since the atrocity, were among hundreds at a memorial service held at St Paul’s Cathedral on Tuesday which was attended by the Duke of York.