7/7 anniversary: Islington left heartbroken by shocking attack
- Credit: Archant
A look back on the Gazette’s coverage of the atrocities and the victims from the borough killed.
On the morning of the terrorist bombings in London on July 7, 2005, the capital had woken up euphoric after celebrating the success of its bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games a day earlier.
But within seconds, jubilation turned to devastation as four Islamic extremists detonated four bombs across the city’s transport network.
Of the 52 people murdered that day, eight of them worked or lived in Islington, leaving many friends, family and co-workers within the borough heartbroken.
The Islington Gazette had gone to press just a day earlier, but its reporters wasted no time in telling the story of the atrocity and its victims.
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A week later, we led with the killing of Shahara Islam, a devout Muslim girl who was commended for her dedication to her faith and family, and her promising future. Just 20-years-old, Shahara worked at the Co-operative Bank in Islington High Street as a cashier, and was described as having “so much to live for.”
Shahara was believed to have died on the Circle line train that blew up under Aldgate East station when travelling to work that morning.
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The Gazette devoted a further four pages of coverage to the men and women who lost their lives, and to those who saved others during one of the worst tragedies London has ever seen.
Among the missing was Laura Webb, who lived with her boyfriend in Islington, and was feared to have been killed on her way to work as a PA for an advertising agency. Police told her family just a week later that Laura had indeed lost her life on the Circle Line train at Edgware Road station. Laura’s family had been searching hospitals for her since 10.30am on that fateful day.
Further on, reporter Christina Boyle captured the horror of John Falding’s final phonecall to his girlfriend Anat Rosenberg, who worked in Islington and was killed on the number 30 bus at Tavistock Square.
Mr Falding, a retired journalist, told the Gazette: “I heard the sound of screaming...then Anat’s phone cut out.”
Anat, a charity worker at the National Children’s Home in Highbury Park, was killed on the number 30 bus at Tavistock Square.
Tragically, the youngest victim of the bombings also came from Islington.
Ciaran Cassidy, 22, was travelling to his job at a printer’s shop when he was killed on the Piccadilly line train heading towards Russell Square out of the borough from King’s Cross.
Ciaran, who lived with his parents and sister in Finsbury Park, had been saving up for an imminent trip to Australia, and had been popular in his local community.
Elswhere, the Gazette heard the devastating story of Karolina Gluck, a Polish national who had made her life in London with boyfriend, Richard Deer. They were excited about a trip to Paris that evening.
Karolina, 29, who lived with her twin sister in Finsbury Park, was killed whilst travelling to work as a receptionist on the Piccadilly line train heading towards Russell Square.
Alongside the heartbreaking individual stories, the paper covered the heroic efforts of the emergency services and ordinary citizens to help the injured.
Red Cross medics Mike Morrison, 41, and Katrina Hitchins, 29, told the Gazette of the gruelling hours spent underground treating survivors and the shocking scenes of devastation they witnessed whilst battling to save people at King’s Cross station.
Mr Morrison had previously helped the injured in the King’s Cross fire of 1987, but nothing prepared him for the range and extent of injuries he dealt with.
He said: “You try to block things out and just get on with the job but at the end of the day we’re all human.”
Community leaders, MPs and local religious figures praised the resilience and defiance of ordinary people who helped others and denounced the killings.