There was heroic action, but the overall response was marred by flaws. That is the finding of an official report into the July 7 London bombings that killed 52 commuters and injured about 700 others.
Inquiry chairman Richard Barnes highlighted communication breakdowns. He said: “In the 21st century, in one of the most sophisticated and technologically-aware cities in the world, it is unacceptable for the emergency services to have to rely on runners to gain and exchange information.” The report by the London Assembly, a multi-party elected body, describes how rescuers’ phones and radios failed. The mobile network was also disabled on the orders of the police, meaning ambulance crews and hospitals were not able to communicate for hours. The report also says hundreds of people were left to wander away from the scenes of the four explosions with little or no effort to identify them. Around recommendations have been made to improve emergency response procedures.