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July 7th People's Independent Inquiry Forum > The 7/7 Inquests > Hearing Transcripts – Electrocution references

Title: Hearing Transcripts – Electrocution references

ChesterB - December 17, 2010 01:50 AM (GMT)
Witness statements from the inquest where they’ve mentioned:

Electric Shock,
Exposed Wires in the train

The unspoken assumption is probably that the bombs caused damage to the train, like heating and lighting fixtures, electric motors, and other power cables. Power Surges don’t seem to be a cause of explosion or injury in the carriage, though it may be a topic for another thread. For example:

QUOTE (19 November 2010 - Morning session)
6 Q. Mr Hickin, in July of 2005, you were a duty manager
7 trains, were you not?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. I think you've been a duty manager for a considerable
10 number of years.
11 A. To date, 20 years, although I've just taken early
12 retirement.

17 LADY JUSTICE HALLETT: Had you ever come across a power
18 surge before, Mr Hickin?
19 A. Power surges do occur, yes.
20 LADY JUSTICE HALLETT: What is usually the effect of a power
21 surge? What would you expect to see?
22 A. Well, you might see arcing and fusing from the trains if
23 there's a power surge. It's a bit like when a fuse or
24 a circuit breaker blows out at home, you know, you get
25 this sudden increase in power and everything goes off.

1 LADY JUSTICE HALLETT: So it's a sudden increase in power
2 and then we've got no power?
3 A. Yes.
4 LADY JUSTICE HALLETT: So in the past, with power surges,
5 have you had reports of people being hurt? Have you
6 had –
7 A. Not to my personal recollection, no.
8 LADY JUSTICE HALLETT: It's usually just everything comes to
9 a stop?
10 A. Yes. I mean, you might get a consequential injury where
11 the train stopped violently.
12 LADY JUSTICE HALLETT: Indeed, if you banged your head or
13 something?
14 A. Yes.

QUOTE (6 December 2010 - Morning session)
15 Q. ... On Thursday, 7 July, were you the duty station
16 manager or one of the duty station managers at
17 Russell Square?
18 A. I was.
19 Q. I think you'd held that role for some years before 7/7?
20 A. That's correct.

14 ... Did something unusual happen
15 around about 8.50?
16 A. That's correct, yes. There was a flickering of the
17 lights in my office, which was not a regular occurrence,
18 but happens now and again when there's a power surge on
19 the network.
20 Q. What do you mean by "power surge"? What is a power
21 surge?
22 A. It's where the network is taking in electricity from
23 various substations and there's a surge of power which
24 can result in a tripping of assets and flickerings of
25 lights going on and off.

1 Q. So to put it colloquially and more bluntly, if there's
2 a power surge, too much electricity coming in, it can
3 trip the fuses?
4 A. That's right, yes.
5 Q. Is it more significant than that when it occurs? Can it
6 actually put passengers at risk in any way; for example,
7 from causing transformers or heavy pieces of machinery
8 to blow or not?
9 A. No, what could happen, in essence, is that the lifts may
10 stall in the shaft, whereupon the appropriate staff
11 would follow the procedure to get them out.

ChesterB - December 17, 2010 01:52 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (19 October 2010 - Morning session)

2 Q. Is it possible you can just describe the explosion to
3 us, what you recollect of it?
4 A. I remember, first of all, it was like a clicking sound
5 and then there was just a bright white light that seemed
6 to go on for quite a while and, during that white light,
7 I thought it was only me affected, I don't know, maybe
8 there was a power failure or something and I was being
9 electrocuted, that's what I thought. And I could hear
10 screaming and I could smell smoke, and I remember
11 reaching out to try to stand up and I couldn't actually
12 move. I was stuck in the chair, and then everything
13 just went black straight after that, and I think I must
14 have passed out or lost consciousness or something and,
15 when I woke up, I remember it was just -- the carriage
16 was full of smoke, completely dark, and it was just
17 chaos everywhere, really. But my hearing had gone, so
18 everything was really, really faint, and I just remember
19 looking round and some people were sitting, some people
20 were on the floor. It was just a shock to see what I'd
21 seen, really.

10 Q. You mentioned very early on that the first thing you
11 thought was that it was as if you'd been electrocuted,
12 and you thought it might have been a power surge,
13 I think.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Was that something which you distinctly remember
16 thinking at the time or something which someone may have
17 said to you subsequently?
18 A. That is what I thought at the time.

QUOTE (19 October 2010 - Morning session)

24 Q. When you came to, where did you find yourself to be?
25 A. When I regained consciousness, I was actually lying

1 backwards, flat, with my back resting on the window
2 frame through the broken window, and at the time
3 I remember I was -- I had a sensation as if I was being
4 electrocuted, because I was aware that I was unable to
5 move and it was the electrocution that was making my
6 body rigid.
21 Q. Were you able to move your body at all?
22 A. Not initially, but I found that, within a few seconds of
23 me regaining consciousness, the electrocution was --
24 seemed to reduce, and I was then gradually, over
25 about -- it's difficult to estimate the time, but

1 I would say, over 30 seconds to a minute, I was -- the
2 electricity diminished and I was able to move and sit
3 up.
4 Q. Did you become aware of devastation in the carriage
5 around you, but in particular of debris, scattered all
6 over the carriage, sheets of metal --
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. -- pointing in every direction, but in particular ripped
9 up from the floor?
10 A. Yes, the -- initially, and throughout, in fact,
11 visibility was very poor, but I did become aware of what
12 seemed to be cladding and panelling in a large pile
13 immediately in front of me and lots of devastation and
14 panels and so on throughout the area.

21 LADY JUSTICE HALLETT: I'm sorry, Mr Brown, sorry to
22 interrupt, what is it that makes you think you were
23 unconscious for 15 minutes? Is it what you've heard
24 since?
25 A. Yes, it was the electrocution aspect, my Lady, in that

1 the subsequent reports that I read indicated that the
2 electricity was isolated after about 15 minutes
3 following the explosion, and I was very aware of an
4 electrocution experience which stopped. So putting the
5 two together, I've assumed that it was about 15 minutes.
6 MR KEITH: May I ask you a further question about that
7 specific point? When your body was in the window
8 opening and you found yourself propelled through it, do
9 you recall seeing either the tunnel wall near you or any
10 part of the tracks near your body as you lay there?
11 A. No.

5 MS SHEFF: Could we have that plan back up, please?
6 That particular position you've marked on the plan
7 to the right of you was something that you were aware of
8 as you were coming round from your injuries and your
9 electrocution, as I think you put it.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. At the time, there was total devastation around you,
12 I think it's fair to say.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Panels and metal railings and all sorts of debris, and
15 I think you said also that visibility was very poor?
16 A. Yes.

QUOTE (19 October 2010 - Morning session)

7 Q. Did you become aware of somebody behind you against whom
8 you might then have been leaning?
9 A. Yes. There was a gentleman behind me, who I know now is
10 Andy Brown, and I felt like I was sort of on him, my
11 head was on him, and, yes, he was being electrocuted at
12 the time, he was saying, you know, something about being
13 electrocuted, you know. But I don't know whether it was
14 the seat or I was on him, really.

QUOTE (19 October 2010 - Morning session)
12 Statement of MS CRYSTAL MAIN read

2 "Bruce was sitting next to me on my left. About
3 a minute into the journey, there was a bang. I do not
4 remember hearing anything. I was sitting next to the
5 glass screen of the double doors. I remember falling
6 sideways and I felt as if I was having a fit or an
7 electric shock."
14 "I do not remember hearing anything. I was sitting
15 next to the glass screen of the double doors.
16 I remember falling sideways and I felt as if I was
17 having a fit or an electric shock. I do not know how
18 long it lasted, but it felt like ages. I tried to pull
19 myself up. I could feel that my face was sore.
20 I opened my eyes slowly. There was a lady backwards

19 "When Bruce sat down, he picked up the free paper
20 which was on his seat and started to read it. I looked
21 at him and then I remember I felt tired and leant my
22 head against the perspex screen. The next thing
23 I remember is that I felt as if I was having a fit and
24 I thought that it was probably because I had been
25 overdoing things. I did not hear a bang or anything.

1 I wondered why nobody was coming to help me. They must
2 be able to see me having a fit. I felt as if I was
3 being electrocuted, electricity seemed to be passing
4 through me. I slowly opened my eyes and it was almost
5 pitch black in the carriage. It seemed like I could not
6 see or hear anything. I had no idea what was going on

ChesterB - December 17, 2010 01:53 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (20 October 2010 - Morning session)
1 Statement of MS CATHERINE DANIELS read

2 "I continued on my journey when I suddenly felt
3 a huge amount of pressure on my whole body. I felt as
4 if I was being electrocuted. I thought I was dying and
5 I think I shouted 'Lord, please forgive me'. This
6 pressure lasted for about four seconds. It was then
7 pitch black and I sat up. I had been pushed back in my
8 seat. I think I said 'I'm alive, but I can't see'.

ChesterB - December 17, 2010 01:53 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (27 October 2010 - Morning session)

4 Q. Did you shine your torch around?
5 A. I shone the torch around. Like I say, it was very hard
6 because the light kept reflecting off the dust because
7 it was still very thick, it was very hard to see. The
8 carriage was blackened, there were wires hanging down,
9 there was twisted metal everywhere. I had a quick shine
10 in both directions. I didn't see anything, and just
11 jumped back down on to the track.

11 Q. Could you see debris in there?
12 A. There was debris. It was just twisted metal, wires,
13 soot.

ChesterB - December 17, 2010 01:54 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (10 November 2010 - Morning session)

13 Q. Tell us, please, what you can recollect of the explosion
14 itself?
15 A. What I recollect is a strong sense of something rushing
16 past me from my right to my left. I swung round to my
17 left and I remember shouting, "What is it, what is it?"
18 Then I remember what felt like the ceiling coming in,
19 primarily to my left. I remember there being a lot of
20 dirt and smoke, and then I remember having a very strong
21 sensation that there was -- it felt like a strong
22 electrical shock. Whether that's what it was or not,
23 I don't know. What it might have been, I suppose, is
24 vibration in the carriage caused by the train suddenly
25 braking. I don't know.

1 Q. Did you try to do anything to stop that sensation of
2 a surge of electricity?
3 A. Yes, I thought, probably irrationally, that it made
4 sense for me to try and stand up. I tried to jump out
5 of my seat. I did jump out, but I didn't end up
6 standing because my leg -- my right leg was quite badly
7 injured, and it just gave way beneath me. So I found
8 myself sitting on the floor.

QUOTE (10 November 2010 - Morning session)
1 MR STUART BULLEN (affirmed)

23 Q. Can you tell us, please, what you remember of the actual
24 explosion?
25 A. The explosion?

1 Q. Yes.
2 A. I don't remember much. I was just sat there reading
3 a paper and, the next thing I knew, I couldn't -- I had
4 ringing in my ears and I had been thrown back on the
5 seat, just I couldn't move and it felt like I was
6 electrocuted, and as I come round, there's just all
7 smoke and dust and everyone panicking everywhere.
8 Q. Which part of your body couldn't you move?
9 A. Well, there was -- I was, like, stuck back into my
10 chair, and I struggled moving forwards, you know,
11 because I think I was being electrocuted on the side of
12 the train, I think, I'm not too sure, the way -- as the
13 blast hit me, I had been threw back and I couldn't lean
14 forward sort of thing.
15 Q. How long do you think that sensation of being
16 electrocuted lasted?
17 A. Only slightly, just instantly. I come round.

ChesterB - December 17, 2010 01:55 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (11 November 2010 - Morning session)

16 ... What do you recollect of the explosion
17 itself?
18 A. I just felt a whack to the side of my head and just
19 a big white flash, a big whack to the side of my head
20 and -- I don't know, just everything was in slow motion.
21 I just felt everything was just going in slow motion and
22 I just felt like I was falling through the floor of the
23 carriage, and I could feel -- you know, I could smell
24 all hot metal burning and felt like I was being
25 electrocuted, you know, I just felt like I was, you

1 know, being electrocuted, like, and I felt like my --
2 I could feel burning metal and I felt -- to me, it felt
3 like my legs was on the track and they was going down
4 the track and my legs were getting sliced off.
5 Q. Do you know whether or not you lost consciousness?
6 A. I thought -- I thought I did. I thought I was on the
7 other side, to be honest, but I just remember -- I just
8 remember the doors being on top of me or something,
9 I was trapped down on the floor...

QUOTE (11 November 2010 - Morning session)
3 Statement of MS KATHLEEN BENTON read

13 had not even had time to begin talking. Suddenly,
14 everything went black. I felt as though I was being
15 electrocuted. It was really painful. There was
16 a horrible, loud, deafening noise. I was holding Emily
17 and saying, 'What's happening, what's happening?' it
18 seemed to go on for an eternity.
19 "When it stopped, it took a while to see again. All
20 the glass had been blown out, everything to my right
21 looked burnt, but in front of me everything was normal
22 and not burnt...

ChesterB - December 17, 2010 01:56 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (16 November 2010 - Morning session)
22 Statement of MR TONY WALTERS read

21 "The doors shut at Edgware Road and a few seconds of
22 entering the tunnel, I heard a loud bang. The glass in
23 the divider shattered. I remember seeing a red light on
24 the ceiling. The explosion came from my right towards
25 the front of the train in the same carriage I was in but

1 a few seats away from me towards the front of the train.
2 The lights went out, and the people in the train did not
3 panic, more 'What's going on?'. A few seconds after the
4 explosion, the smoke cleared and I could see the lights
5 from the train next to ours and a light from outside was
6 making me able to see the people that had been injured.
7 I received bruising in my feet and lower right leg.
8 I remember feeling that I was being electrocuted from my
9 feet up. When I looked at the damaged area, I could see
10 a large hole in the front of the train...

ChesterB - December 17, 2010 01:57 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (30 November 2010 - Morning session)

1 I had a sense that it was very bright around me, and
17 Q. Do you recollect, as well as being blown backwards by
18 the force, any sort of light or fire?
19 A. I remember I think there was some wire that came near
20 me, because I remember trying to move back out of the
21 way because I was aware that I could have been
22 electrocuted down one side of my leg, and then, when
23 I looked to my right, I saw a huge fireball explosion as
24 though it was coming towards me, and I looked at that
25 and then I just looked to my left and literally thought

1 that would be it.
2 Q. Did the fireball reach you, do you think?
3 A. No, just -- it must have -- I don't know what happened,
4 but I remember looking at it, then just thinking, you
5 know, next thing, "I'll just be gone".
6 Q. I quite understand. Take your time if it's difficult
7 answering these questions, there's no pressure on you at
8 all.
9 You described in your statement, and you've just
10 made mention of this sense of electrocution. Do you
11 recall being hit by some sort of light fitting from the
12 roof of the carriage?
13 A. Yes, I recall being hit -- I recall being hit by a metal
14 bar on the back of my head, because I believe that must
15 have sent me forward at one point.
16 At the same time, I was convinced that I saw some
17 kind of wire dangling, as though it was on fire, coming
18 towards my hair and my head, then I remembered moving
19 back because I didn't want to get burnt and, you know,
20 electrocuted by that.

15 Q. We know, of course, that the location of the bombs was
16 near there, and obviously it had a terrible effect on
17 the metal and the fabric and the structure of the
18 carriage around it.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Was your view of the people in that area obscured by
21 metal debris thrown up by the bomb, or could you see
22 across the floor?
23 A. I think -- I cannot remember seeing a lot of metal from
24 there. I remember seeing wires hanging down near where
25 I was sitting, and I remember, after, in the months that

1 passed, when the carriage pictures came out, you know,
2 when I looked at -- you could see my seat on the news
3 footage, where you saw those wires dangling down, I do
4 remember those wires. But when I looked to my right,
5 I couldn't make out metal. It was --
6 Q. That --
7 A. Sorry, go on.
8 Q. Please continue.
9 A. Like I said, it had just been complete -- everything had
10 been wiped out, and it was just black and darkness, and
11 odd -- I could see odd, odd shapes, but not metal.

QUOTE (30 November 2010 - Morning session)
20 MS YVETTE NEWTON (affirmed)

14 Q. Immediately after the blast, Ms Newton, describe the
15 conditions in the carriage. What could you see?
16 A. Again, yes, it was very black. It was smoky, it was --
17 there were loads of wires hanging down from the ceiling,
18 windows -- or glass on the floors, on me, on -- you
19 know, just glass blown out, just a lot of people on the
20 floor, yes.

ChesterB - December 17, 2010 01:58 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (30 November 2010 - Afternoon session)

19 Q. When you shone your torch into the first carriage, did
20 it seem to you that the majority of the passengers had
21 been thrown to the floor or were they seated or could
22 you not tell in the dark?
23 A. I couldn't really tell, it was so dark. I could see
24 a few faces round about the door. I could see they were
25 blackened and their hair was kind of on end and frizzy.

1 But I couldn't -- no more, I couldn't really see any
2 further into it than that.

24 Q. Was it apparent to you immediately that they had
25 sustained injuries, burns, flash burns, bleeding?

1 A. The first passengers out were more blackened and with
2 kind of frizzy hair. As those passengers came out, it
3 got progressively worse, the kind of state of the people
4 that were leaving the train. So, yes, burns, splattered
5 with blood, hair standing on end, clothes blackened,
6 that sort of thing.

ChesterB - December 17, 2010 01:59 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (1 December 2010 - Afternoon session)
25 "A few moments later, the train left King's Cross

1 station. Out of the blue, I heard a bang. It went dark
2 and I closed my eyes. The sensation I felt was making
3 my whole body shake violently as if I had been
4 electrocuted and my hands were shaking next to my head.
5 I thought what was going on and maybe this is it for
6 me."
7 She says she is not sure how long the sensation
8 lasted, but her ears were now ringing and she touched
9 them.

17 MR ANDREW O'CONNOR: Ms Hormigos continues:
18 "When the impact happened, I felt my head and it was
19 sticky, and I could smell smoke from the left-hand side
20 and I started inhaling smoke and my heart was thumping.
21 I could also see parts of the train hanging from the
22 ceiling and I had pieces of glass and metal in my hair
23 and on me...

ChesterB - December 17, 2010 01:59 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (6 December 2010 - Morning session)

8 the doors shut and the train began to leave the station.
9 A few minutes later, I felt this shock, this
10 electricity, going through my body, which required me to
11 stretch backwards, I was shaking, I remember seeing my
12 brain, my skeleton, I could see peculiar things.
13 I remember thinking to myself, "When is this going to
14 finish?", and it finished soon afterwards. It probably
15 only lasted a few seconds, but it seemed like eternity.
16 Q. When it finished, were you still in your seat or had you
17 been moved?
18 A. I was still in my seat, but not seated as normal, but
19 I had somehow slipped down the seat so that my back was
20 on the seat of the seat and my head was against the back
21 of the seat.
22 Q. Were you facing a particular way; for example, your back
23 towards the driver's cab, the front of the train, or
24 your back towards the rear of the train? Can you
25 recall?

1 A. I believe that it was my -- I wasn't totally -- I didn't
2 have my back totally towards the driver, but I was
3 slanted slightly towards the other end of the carriage.
4 Q. Were you able to see anything at the point at which this
5 shock sensation of electrical --
6 A. Well, as soon as --
7 Q. – electrocution ended?
8 A. As soon as I gained my consciousness, as it were,
9 I could see in front of me a dim light, and that the
10 emergency lights had come on.
11 Q. From outside the carriage?
12 A. I think so, and in front of me there was a hole in the
13 ceiling, and there was wires dropping down from that
14 hole and, when we were at Arnos Grove -- I forgot to
15 mention that there were delays. When we were at one of
16 the stations towards King's Cross, there were delays at
17 Arnos Grove, and the -- somebody was in the station
18 saying to us, "We have problems this morning, there's an
19 electrical problem and we apologise for the delays", and
20 we stayed there for a few minutes. Indeed, I thought of
21 getting off at that point, but I didn't, thinking that
22 it would be more efficient if I just sat there and got
23 into town sooner rather than later.
24 So I had in my mind that there was an electrical
25 problem on the train, so when I came to and I opened my

1 eyes and there was a dim light and I could see this hole
2 and these wires hanging from this hole, I thought it was
3 an electrical discharge of some kind.

QUOTE (6 December 2010 - Morning session)
21 Statement of MR PATRICK BARNES read

22 "The train started to move. We must have literally
23 just got into the tunnel. It was only moving for
24 a minute before it exploded. It was less than a minute.
25 It felt like the doors had closed, we went into the

1 tunnel, then 'Boom'. I don't even think the rear of the
2 train would have made it into the tunnel because it just
3 seemed so quick.
4 "It was weird as well because my hair was singed on
5 the back. I never heard a noise, but I felt it on the
6 back of my head. There was also singeing on my arm.
7 I was holding on to the bar with my left arm. Actually,
8 I think I was holding on with both arms. I thought the
9 fingers on my right hand had melted together from the
10 metal bar, so I thought there was some sort of
11 electrical fault. I felt really peculiar inside, like
12 I had been electrocuted. It felt like it had come from
13 behind me, although I was facing the front of the Tube
14 and Phil had his back to the driver."
15 My Lady, I omitted the words in the middle of the
16 sentence because checks against the audio interview show
17 that there was an error there in the typed statement:
18 "The feeling I had at the back of my head was as if
19 someone had clouted me in the back of the head.

ChesterB - December 17, 2010 02:00 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (8 December 2010 - Afternoon session)
12 Statement of MS MARIANA CHEIANU read

18 "The carriage was very full with people standing
19 behind me. I remember a man with a large bag pushing in
20 behind me but I could not describe anyone. I remember,
21 as the train started moving off, I looked up at the
22 train map and started counting the stations to
23 Hammersmith. I never finished counting because
24 I suddenly felt that I was getting an electric shock
25 which shot down my arm. My whole body felt it was being

1 squeezed and I could not breathe. I felt that I was
2 dying and I was losing my baby. I did not hear any loud
3 noise but was then aware that I was falling. Someone
4 helped pick me up so I must have been on the floor.
5 "When I opened my eyes, I felt blood coming down my
6 face and felt glass in my eyes. I had blood coming from
7 my ear as well. I began to cry and I think my lenses
8 came out. I could not see anything, as the whole
9 carriage was dark and I was breathing in smoke. I still
10 felt that it was something to do with an electrical
11 fault. A woman was screaming, whilst others were
12 crying, trying to calm people down and I could hear
13 others praying. I was aware there was glass and metal
14 on the floor...

Bridget - December 17, 2010 09:05 AM (GMT)
Thanks for compiling these ChesterB - we did include Ken Livingstone's alternative account that power surges can in fact lead to catastrophic injuries in our submission to the Inquest:

First reports from the scene claim that the explosion was caused by power surges11. London Underground say this wasn't a cover story and in fact fitted what they were told by the drivers and the Network Control Centre12. Descriptions from survivors tell of electric shocks1314 and flames outside15 the window consistent with the effects of a power surge. Ken Livingstone told the 7 July Review Committee that power surges can cause explosions with catastrophic effects and a large number of casualties16.

"There could have been had [sic] a power surge which could have had quite catastrophic casualty levels.  We have always been aware of that on the Underground."
- Ken Livingstone, to the 7 July Review Committee hearings

11The attacks: minute-by-minute timeline - Telegraph -
12The Mysterious Case Of The Non-Existent Train Time: Reply From London Underground -
13J7 Incident Analysis: Liverpool Street/Aldgate/Aldgate East, Eye Witnesses -
147/7: Blitz On Britain: THE SURVIVOR - 'I CLOSE MY EYES AND CAN SEE | Sunday Mirror Newspaper | Find Articles at BNET -
15London blast: survivors' tales - Times Online -
167 July Review Committee Meeting Minutes [PDF] -

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