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THE DAY WE KNEW WOULD COME: My hell in tunnel as bomb went off.

A SURVIVOR of the King's Cross bomb last night told of his journey into terror.

Richard Kirkland squeezed on to the packed tube train at Finsbury Park minutes before the explosion that killed 21 people.

It was like every other rush hour on the tube. I was jammed against the door at the end of a carriage.

People avoided each other's eyes, as they do on crowded London tubes.

Just after the tube left King's Cross, there was a violent bang and I felt the explosion behind me. It felt like I sensed the bang before I heard it.

The window I was leaning against shattered and we were covered in glass. Later, I found my pockets were full of it.

The train lurched to a stop and we were thrown against each other. The carriage was pitch dark and filled with choking fumes. It was very quiet.

I remember thinking that we were certain to die.

People used their mobiles for light and slowly began to talk to each other. Our fear was that the train was on fire. I heard someone reassuring people that they would come to find us.

The carriage next to mine was dark and people there were screaming. I don't want to think what was happening there. The connecting door between the carriages was jammed.

We were there for perhaps 30 minutes.

The bravery and kindness of the people I met down there was incredible. People used their shirts to bandage others.

We were led out through the train and back to King's Cross. People were lying on the track, not moving. There were other passengers bent over them.

A man near me seemed to have lost the back of his scalp. I could see his skull. I don't think he realised what had happened to him.

The face of a Japanese woman appeared cut to pieces. Faces didn't seem like faces.

I was desperate to get to daylight. When I emerged, people avoided me but I now know that was because I was covered in dust and weaving about like a wino.

A nurse on her way to work took me to a cafe. She is called Jenny.

I'm numb now - I feel I should be dead and I'm not. I'm grateful for that

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TERROR: Richard
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 8, 2005
Words:385
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