The driver of the train targeted in Friday’s terror attack at Parsons Green Tube station has revealed the “pandemonium” which followed the explosion, in his official account.
A initial London Underground investigation into the incident, documented in a paper seen by the BBC, has given a snapshot of how staff reacted when an improvised bomb partially exploded in a train, injuring 30 people during the morning rush hour.
The report also revealed initial communications between the driver and the service controller were “hampered”, while CCTV images showed “a scene of confusion and distress”.
Here is the train driver’s account, according to the London Underground report:
When he arrived at Parsons Green, he operated the train doors as normal and carried out his platform duties.
As he was about to shut the doors to depart, he noticed on the in-cab CCTV that a lot of passengers were running out of the rear car.
He immediately opened the cab door to find out what was happening.
Some passengers were shouting “fire” and others were shouting “it’s an attack”.
The train operator stated that he returned to the cab to raise a mayday alarm.
He asked for traction current to be switched off immediately.
He then returned to the platform and told passengers that were stuck on the platform due to the pandemonium and small size of the staircase to follow him.
He took the customers on to the track away from the trains via the ramp.
He took the customers as far as the sidings and instructed them to stay low and out of sight.
At this time there were about 50-70 people on the track with the train operator and because he was not sure what type of attack was going on, he returned to the station platform to get more information.
On arriving back on the platform, he was met by the station supervisor, who informed the train operator that a bomb had gone off in the last car.
The train operator returned to the sidings to lead the passengers on the track back to the station, and eventually out of the station.
Here is the station supervisor’s account:
The supervisor and his staff were at the gateline when there was a sudden stampede of passengers from platform two.
Customers started jumping over the barriers to get out of the station.
The supervisor plunged the gates using the emergency button to keep all gates open.
He instructed his staff to continue to help people out of the station while he went to investigate the reason for the stampede.
After checking the station cameras, he saw that the platform was still very busy with people trying frantically to exit and others running on the tracks, the station supervisor put on his hi-vis and went to the platform.
However, the stairs were so busy and people were being trampled on by those pushing from behind to exit the platform.
The supervisor called his staff and together they helped the fallen and injured out of the station.
They went back and forth and kept calming the crowd, to walk orderly out of the station.
The supervisor was eventually able to get to the platform.
He had found out by enquiring from passengers, while helping them out of the station, that there had been an explosion and fire in the last car of the train on platform two.
The supervisor saw the train operator and informed him of the situation.
The service controller was informed while the train operator went back to the track to retrieve the passengers on the track with him.
The station supervisor continued to evacuate the platform as some passengers kept going to the burning item on the train in order to take pictures.