“I can feel a lot of blood.
It’s dark. It’s smoky. I’ve had both my eardrums blown, but I can hear some screaming.
“I was bleeding. I was hurting.”
This was what John Tulloch woke to after he was knocked unconscious by bombs set off as part of terror attacks in London ten years ago.
Mr Tulloch, one of the few surviving eye-witnesses to the July 7 bombings, sat directly opposite one of the four young terrorists who claimed 52 lives and injured 700 more on their peak hour commute.
He told SBS that the bomber was just five feet from him when the bomb exploded, leaving him badly injured.
“This guy jumped in who was an RAF officer and he looked after me for what was far too long before the emergency workers arrived,” he said.
“If I’d had worse damage I could have bled to death in that time. So that was an amazing good fortune. I had extraordinary good fortune that day.”
Investigators told Mr Tulloch that his luggage almost certainly saved his life.
The laptop bag he carried on that fateful journey will be, as it was a decade ago, firmly by his side at the commemorations of the attacks.]
‘They certainly weren’t going to have their lifestyle disrupted by a bunch of terrorists’
Nine Australians survived the 2005 attacks, including Gill Hicks.
She lost both legs in the blast at Kings Cross Station, but returned to London to be reunited with Police Constable Andrew Maxwell, who helped carry her to safety on a makeshift stretcher from her bombed Underground train.
Australian High Commissioner to the UK, Alexander Downer, said the attacks didn’t succeed in instilling a sense of fear.
“They certainly weren’t going to have their lifestyle disrupted by a bunch of Islamic terrorists,” he said.
“There has only been one person killed by terrorism in the UK since the seventh of July 2005 – ten years – and London is a prime target for terrorists. There have been dozens and dozens of attacks, or threatened attacks, disrupted.