December 21 2013 Latest news:
By Colin Adwent
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
A British Transport Police officer from Ipswich has been awarded a coroner’s citation for his ‘courageous’ actions during the London bombings in 2005.
Inspector Bob Munn, who is retiring after 31 years service, was the first uniformed officer to go into the underground tunnel between Aldgate and Liverpool Street on July 7 after terrorist Shehzad Tanweer blew up a tube train.
Despite the dangers he went down into the tunnel with two probationary officers, who had only six weeks’ service each, to help the dying and injured.
Insp Munn co-ordinated the rescue effort and was the last police officer to leave the tunnel after the survivors were taken to safety.
Despite the dangers and their belief a second bomb was about to go off, the BTP officer and a firefighter remained underground, after hearing warnings of a another device.
The commendation from Lady Justice Hallett states: “Inspector Robert Munn, you behaved impeccably and courageously and in the very best traditions of the police service.
“You praised your probationers. Well, I suspect they learnt by your example. So I commend you wholeheartedly for you actions that day.”
After accepting his award Insp Munn said: “From a professional point of view 7/7 was without doubt the biggest challenge of my career given the desperate and tragic nature of what occurred.
“In 31 years as an officer I have never had a more difficult or traumatic day.
“I see it as a recognition for the team and not just for me. It brought back a lot of memories because it was an exceedingly traumatic day.”
Giving evidence at the Royal Courts of Justice at the London bombings inquest in 2010 Insp Munn said his fears throughout the rescue effort were of a secondary device going off to cause further fatalities.
He had entered the station just after 9.05am and remained in the tunnel for just over an hour in the dark and dust.
Describing the scene, Insp Munn said: “Chaotic, pandemonium are the usual descriptions, and words cannot really describe the noise, the smell, the general sense of confusion down there.”
As Insp Munn was preparing to leave the tunnel a doctor thought he heard someone still shouting.
However, the BTP officer and a firefighter who was with him looked around, but could not find anybody.
Richard Ellery and Richard Gray, both from Ipswich, were among the seven people killed at Aldgate.
A total of 52 people died in the 7/7 attacks on tube trains and a bus at London’s Tavistock Square, which all happened at around the same time.