Officer’s bid to help Ipswich 7/7 victim
A POLICE officer awarded the MBE for his bravery during the London bombings has told how he tried to help a fatally injured Suffolk man.
The inquest into the attacks on July 7, 2005, heard how British Transport Police Detective Constable Antonio Silvestro was the first officer to get to the scene of the Tube train bombing at Aldgate.
The court heard how the officer tried to help the dying and survivors amid the carnage after the attack on the Circle Line train.
Giving evidence at the Royal Courts of Justice, Dc Silvestro said when he arrived at the bombed-out carriage in which Ipswich men Richard Ellery, 21, and Richard Gray, 41, were killed, the door was hanging off.
The pair had been opposite each other by a set of double doors across the carriage from suicide bomber Shehzad Tanweer, who was positioned by the doors on the other side.
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Dc Silvestro said: “There were lots of people screaming for help. I looked into the carriage itself.” As he did so he saw a young man shaking and obviously in shock, who was subsequently identified as Mr Ellery.
Dc Silvestro said: This guy just kept trying to stand up. Basically, he was sort of half up, half down. There was no speech from him.
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“His instinct was trying to get up all the time. I was concerned that, if he did get up and came towards the doors, he would fall on to the track,
“He was trying to get up and I just was holding him back, basically. I was trying to push him back down to stop him falling out – all along shouting ‘Police, sit down, mate, sit down’. When I stepped into the carriage and sat him down physically, there were no injuries. I sat him against where there would have been the glass partition.”
Dc Silvestro later discovered Mr Ellery had subsequently died.
After trying to help Mr Ellery, the officer saw Ipswich dancers Crystal Main and Bruce Lait, sitting a few feet away.
Dc Silvestro said: “There was debris everywhere and twisted metal. Draped across their lap was a young female.”
The court heard the female was later identified as Carrie Taylor, who was also one of the seven fatalities that day. At that point she was still alive, although not moving.
At the end of Dc Silvestro’s testimony coroner Lady Justice Hallett told him: “What you did went way beyond the call of duty. Armed only with a torch and vest it seems, you ran into that tunnel, not knowing what you faced.
“You stayed down there doing everything possible to help. Being told of the risk, you didn’t run for your life, you redoubled your efforts. You were very brave.”