A station manager was stopped from sending London Underground staff down to the Tube track after a bomb ripped apart a train on July 7, he has said.
Darren Glazer, duty station manager at Liverpool Street station, described the confusion that reigned after suicide bomber Shehzad Tanweer detonated his bomb on an eastbound Circle Line train, killing seven people.
While a British Transport Police (BTP) officer forbade staff at Liverpool Street from going to investigate, Tube staff at Aldgate station ignored safety concerns and rushed to help the bloodied victims, the inquest into the deaths of the 52 people killed in the 2005 atrocities heard.
Mr Glazer said: "There was some smoke coming out from the direction of Aldgate through the tunnel into our platforms. We planned to (find out what had happened) but then I was stopped by DCI (Al) Lawson at the time who was silver control for British Transport Police.
"I couldn't allow my staff to do what I wanted them to do because I was stopped by DCI Lawson because of the possibility of secondary devices."
No-one was sent down to the track for at least the first 25 minutes, the inquest heard.
Meanwhile staff at Aldgate station were praised by the coroner for their bravery for getting stuck in and helping out in the tunnel.
Station supervisor Olanayi Falayi ignored the concerns of BTP officers about the danger in the tunnel at Aldgate.
He described how he went down there anyway as he had seen the walking wounded emerging, and found a woman pinned to the floor of a Tube carriage by an upright pole.
He told the inquest: "Police officers were saying we didn't know the situation down there, that it would be dangerous to go. But (my colleague) and I decided to go anyway."