Britain’s emergency services have promised that lessons will be learnt from the July 7 London bombings last year. Fifty-two people were killed and hundreds injured by four suicide bombers on the Underground network and on a bus in the capital’s Tavistock Square. An official report says the overall response by the police, fire and ambulance services was marred by flaws.
However, the fire service chief Ken Knight said: “I don’t believe we let the victims down, in fact I believe that probably as many lives were saved that were sadly lost at the hands of four suicide terrorist bombers.” The report, by the elected body the London Assembly, described how rescuers’ phones and radios failed, meaning ambulances were delayed or sent to the wrong place and basic medical supplies ran short. There were also difficulties getting some of the injured to hospital.“While the actual technical capability hasn’t improved, we have put in place some protocols with the British Transport Police,” said Alan Brown, Assistant Commissioner from the Metropolitan Police. “There is now greater use of the same equipment and we feel confident that if confronted with a similar situation, the response in relation to communication would be better.” A three billion euro communications network is being rolled out line by line on the Tube. But it will be up to two years before a fully integrated system is up and running.