7/7 London bombers inquest ruling

The coroner at the 7/7 London bombings inquests has formally ruled that the 52 people who died in the suicide attacks were unlawfully killed.

Lady Justice Hallett also examined the work of the emergency and security services, and lessons to be learned.

She began by thanking the bereaved families for their “understanding, support and quiet dignity”.

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The bombers – including Mohammed Sidique Khan, from Dewsbury – targeted Tube trains at Aldgate, Edgware Road and Russell Square and a double decker bus in Tavistock Square.

More than 700 people were injured in the suicide bomb attacks in London, in 2005.

The inquests heard 309 witnesses and a further 197 statements during 19 weeks of evidence. The remit of the inquests at the Royal Courts of Justice in London included investigating the emergency services’ response on the day and considering whether MI5 could have prevented the attacks.

The relatives of those who died said they want lessons to be learned and for their loss to contribute to the saving of lives of others in future.

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They came up with a list of points they wanted her to cover in her ruling, which included stricter controls on bomb-making ingredients and improved training for emergency workers.

They also listed nine points concerning the alleged failures by MI5 and police.

The Tube bombing between King’s Cross and Russell Square killed 26 passengers The inquest heard the security services failed to show a colour surveillance photograph of two of the bombers to a supergrass before the attacks.

But a senior MI5 officer, referred to as Witness G, gave evidence to the inquests and defended the decisions that had been made.

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The evidence at the inquest revealed the confusion of the emergency services and transport controllers as the full extent of the situation emerged on 7 July 2005.

There was a shortage of vital equipment, and mobile phones and radios did not work underground, the inquest heard.

The coroner heard about a delay of nearly 30 minutes in getting firefighters into King’s Cross station and that they waited, thinking there could be a chemical or biological attack below, despite the fact that travellers who had made their own way out of the station showing no such signs.

Lady Justice Hallett also heard about the bravery of individuals - both people on the trains and rescue workers - and the problems they had to overcome.

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She decided the inquest should only cover the deaths of the 52 innocent victims of the attacks.

A separate inquest for the four bombers could still be held in the future and the coroner may make a ruling on this when she presents her findings.

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