Dunn recalls scenes of London bombing horror

A LARNE GP has told how he has tried to forget the horrific scenes he encountered as he tended to victims of the 7/7 terror attacks in London.

Dr Brian Dunn, chairman of the British Medical Association’s (BMA) Northern Ireland General Practitioners Committee, gave evidence to the coroner’s inquest into the bombings last Wednesday.

Dr Dunn, who is also an independent councillor in Larne, was at a meeting at the BMA headquarters in Tavistock Square in London when a bomb exploded on a double-decker bus going past the building on July 7, 2005.

Speaking at the hearing by videolink from Belfast, he said: “My memory of it is quite remote. I’ve tried not to dwell on these things over the past five years.”

Dr Dunn told the inquest that the first sign something was wrong was when they saw a helicopter hovering outside the building. “We switched on the television in the meeting room and heard about the power surges on the underground,” he added. “Then we heard an explosion and I think it was obvious to everyone in the room that it had been a bomb.

“We didn’t know where it had come from. We had a brief discussion and presumed there could have been a secondary device, so we advised the others to remain in the room for a few minutes before we evacuated.”

He then described how he looked out of one of the windows and saw the scene of the explosion. “When I looked out of the window, I saw the bus with its roof blown off. I saw cars abandoned, but at that stage, actually, it was quite quiet outside”, Dr Dunn said.

“I informed the others of what had happened and we decided to go outside and see if we could do something to help. There was a lot of milling around, there were casualties lying on makeshift stretchers. At that stage, it was still fairly chaotic. I think most casualties had either one or two doctors looking after them, but at that stage there was very little organisation.”

Dr Dunn also described how he spent about an hour caring for one of the victims, a 28-year-old Australian called Sam Ly. The Vietnamese-born computer technician from Melbourne was a passeneger on the bus and suffered serious injuries in the blast - he died in hospital about a week later. Dr Dunn said: “He was lying on the left-hand side of the courtyard as you face the BMA House. As I approached him, someone was just about to insert a cannula. I assisted in that process and we set up intravenous fluids for him. I think he was conscious, but he wasn’t making a lot of noise. He was fairly quiet all the way through the time I was looking after him and, at one stage, he shouted quite loudly, ‘I just want to go to Australia’. After that, his level of consciousness did seem to decrease and he became less and less responsive. I was quite concerned by this.”

Dr Dunn added that he helped carry the wounded man to an ambulance when it arrived, and afterwards stayed to assist with other casualties. He added: “There were several walking wounded, people who had blankets and actually were extremely well-behaved, and we looked at those, assessed their injuries and then they moved off to a nearby hotel.”

The suicide bombings on the bus and three Tube trains, killed 52 people and injured about 700 others. The inquiry will examine how each victim died.