I’ve tried to block out 7/7, says Northern Ireland GP who helped victims
A prominent GP from Northern Ireland has described how he has tried to block out memories of the horrific scenes he encountered as he tended to some of the victims of the 7/7 bus blast.
Dr Brian Dunn, chair of the British Medical Association’s (BMA) Northern Ireland General Practitioners Committee, gave evidence to the inquest into the terror bombs by videolink yesterday.
Dr Dunn was at a meeting at the BMA headquarters in Tavistock Square in London when the final bomb that day exploded on the No 30 bus going past the building.
Speaking after the hearing, he said: “My recollection of what happened is quite vague because I have done my best not to remember and it was five years ago.
“I worked in casualty in the Royal during the Troubles, but it was part of the job and you were expecting to see casualties come through the door. You had all the equipment and nurses there, but it is different when it comes out of the blue.
“It makes it more traumatic and most of us who were there that day have done our best to try and forget about it.”
Mr Dunn said they became aware of the unfolding events as they gathered for a meeting
“It was just a normal meeting that was due to begin at 10am. We were in the teleconference room and were told something was going on, there was talk about power surges in the underground and several explosions,” he said.
“Then there was a big explosion outside the BMA building. It was directly at the front door but it caused very little damage. The girl who worked in the room that was damaged had taken the day off. We knew it couldn’t have been anything other than an explosion so we waited for about five or 10 minutes to make sure there would be no more explosions. We thought that would be the sensible thing to do. Then I went over to the window and saw the bus with its roof just ripped off.
“At that stage we went down to the courtyard and by that time most of the casualties had been carried in there, so we started to help people. Essentially, it was totally chaotic, but there were lots of doctors. Of course, none of them had any equipment because we were all there for meetings.
“The paramedics arrived shortly after with intravenous fluids. There were about one or two doctors looking after each casualty. They were quite severe injuries. The man I was tending to had quite severe head and chest injuries. He actually died about a week later in hospital. He was in his 20s.
“It was about an hour before they started to be taken away from the BMA building. I suppose the ambulances had been diverted elsewhere to other sites.”