When was 7/7? Date of London bombings, what happened, and how victims are being remembered on 16th anniversary

It is 16 years today since a series of devastating terrorist attacks hit London

When was 7/7? Date of London bombings, what happened, and how victims are being remembered on 16th anniversary (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
When was 7/7? Date of London bombings, what happened, and how victims are being remembered on 16th anniversary (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Today marks the 16th anniversary of the 7/7 bombings, which claimed the lives of 52 innocent people and injured at least 700 more

London Mayor Sadiq Khan paid tribute to those who were killed, as well as emergency services and transport workers, “who ran towards dangers to help people and save lives”.

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What happened on 7/7?

The 7/7 bombings were the first major terror attack on British soil since then Lockerbie bombings, and the first suicide bombings the country had faced.

The plot involved four terrorists who had created homemade explosive devices, which they planned to detonate on busy public transport routes in the capital.

They were Mohammed Sidique Khan, 30, Shezhad Tanweer, 22, Germaine Lindsay, 19 and Hasib Hussain, 18.

At approximately 4am on 7 July 2005, Khan, Tanweer and Hussain set off from Beeston, near Leeds, West Yorkshire, in a hire car to meet with Lindsay in Luton.

From there, the attackers travelled into London on the train, arriving at Kings Cross at 8:23am.

Once they had arrived in the capital, Khan, Tanweer and Lindsay entered the Underground system.

At 8:49am, as millions of people moved around the capital on their way to work or school, the three terrorists activated their explosive devices on busy Underground trains.

There are three explosions, at Aldgate, Edgware Road and Russell Square.

Initially the explosions are reported as being caused by a massive electrical surge, and conflict reports suggest there may have been six explosions.

This confusion is caused by reports of injured survivors emerging from six different tube stations, as the bombs went off between stations.

Six people were killed when Khan exploded his device on a Westbound Circle Line train near Edgware Road, while seven died from the explosion on an Eastbound Circle Line train between Liverpool Street and Aldgate.

On the Piccadilly line, 26 people were killed in the most deadly of all the explosions after the device was detonated between King’s Cross and Russell Square.

Not only was this the most crowded carriage, which contributed to the higher death toll, but the Piccadilly Line is much narrower and more confined than the Circle Line, concentrating the effect of the blast.

As a massive rescue operation was getting underway right across the capital, just less than an hour later the fourth and youngest attacker detonated his bomb while sitting on the top deck of a double-decker bus in Tavistock Square, near Kings Cross.

Thirteen people were killed and many injured in this part of the attack, with those who were sitting near the bomber the worst affected.

The attack took place near the British Medical Association’s headquarters, and many senior doctors and medical staff rushed out to offer what help they could.

What has been done to commemorate the victims?

In the southeast corner of Hyde Park, there are 52 stainless steel pillars arranged in four groups.

These were commissioned as a tribute to the victims of the attacks and put up in 2009, on the fourth anniversary of the bombings.

The 52 pillars each represent one of the people killed, and the four groups represent the four sites that were attacked.

A bus which was commissioned to replace the one damaged in the attacks was named the Spirit of London as a tribute to those who died on 7/7.

‘London will always stand defiantly against the evils of hatred and terrorism’

Speaking today, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, said: “Our capital stands together to reflect and remember the innocent victims, and our thoughts are with all those whose lives were changed forever.

“As we mark 16 years since the attacks on our city, I want again to pay tribute to the heroic efforts of our emergency services and transport workers, who ran towards danger to help people and save lives.

“The way our city responded that day and continues to stand united against terrorism shows the world that now and forever, those who seek to destroy our way of life in London will never win.

“London will always stand defiantly against the evils of hatred and terrorism. Our values of freedom, tolerance and mutual respect will always prevail over those who seek to divide us.”