When the 7 July bombers struck, off-duty policewoman Lizzie Kenworthy was on the Tube train blown up at Aldgate station. She knew that she had to 'see what I could do'
I was a safer schools officer at the time and normally would have been at a secondary school in south Tottenham, but that morning I was on my way to a conference in Westminster. I was in plain clothes and holding on to the rail in the middle of the carriage when there there was a bang and the train stopped. I thought we had had a shunt. Everyone gasped and the lights went out. Smoke started to come into the carriage and I told everyone to keep calm. People started to shout from the next carriage that they needed help, and doctors and nurses. That's when I got out my warrant card and said that I was a police officer. I went through the connecting doors into the next carriage and realised that we were in serious trouble. It was very dark and people covered in soot were coming towards me.
I walked through to the end and saw the buckled door of the next carriage, which is where the bomb had gone off. A man said: "You mustn't go in." I could hear people screaming, so I knew I had to see what I could do. I crawled through the interconnecting door, which had blood on the glass. One woman sitting on the seat was twisted round. She was trapped and there wasn't much left of her leg. The chap next to her had lost his leg and there was a woman to their left who was on her back trapped in the metal, which had twisted up through the middle of the carriage. The roof was still on, but the lining of the carriage had been blown off. The sides had also come off and there was a big hole in the floor. A guy was writhing around on a big sheet of metal a bit further up.
I had a corduroy jacket on and tied it round what was left of the first chap's leg as tightly as I could. I thought he would die if I didn't do something quickly. I held his hand, as well as the hand of the woman who had lost her leg, and told them that help was coming and they were going to live. A man from the carriage I'd come through asked if he could help and I told him to go and get some T-shirts and belts. He came back with some and I gave a belt to the woman who was on the seat and she tied it round her leg. I told her to hold on to it and help would come. She did; she was very brave. I also gave her a T-shirt to stem the blood from her other injuries.
The man who had lost his leg was talking to me almost normally. He said, "I've lost my leg", and I said, "Yes, but you're going to be all right." Periodically, I would check the woman on the floor because she was still shouting. I couldn't leave those three to go to the young man lying on the piece of metal. I thought I might as well stay with the people I could help. I just shouted to him that he would be all right.
The people who had been in my carriage started walking along the tracks towards Aldgate. I shouted at them quite angrily to get me a first-aid kit. They were walking like zombies. They couldn't bear to look. Eventually, the carriage filled up with paramedics and firemen, who took over. I started to flag a bit and decided to leave.
By the time I left the station an hour had passed since the explosion. I gave a policeman all the details of the people I had looked after. I went into a shop and they let me use their toilet to clean myself up. Then a woman took me to her office and I phoned my family. My sister's friend has a flat in the Barbican so I stayed there until my husband picked me up. When I got home I tore off my clothes and shoes, threw them in the garden and scrubbed myself as clean as I could. I didn't sleep at all.
I went back to work the next week and found it quite difficult to engage for a while. For a week, I thought the three people I'd been looking after were dead. Finding that they were alive was sheer pleasure. They seem to think that I saved their lives, but who can say? I'm still in touch with two of them and firm friends with the chap. We were invited to look at the train in a big hangar, which we did together.
At the beginning, I kept dreaming that I was back in the carriage and that everyone was all right. I think I might have been feeling guilty that I didn't do enough. I heard that the other chap had died. I hadn't gone to him, but I couldn't have left the three I was looking after. I will never know whether it would have made any difference if I had done something for him or not, so I have to live with that.
I think about what happened pretty much every day, but it's getting easier to deal with. I still travel by Tube and always carry a first-aid kit and a torch in my rucksack. It doesn't go away, but I live with it rather than it living with me.
I sometimes still have nightmares. It was the worst thing that I've had to deal with in my career. But nothing tops seeing those three people having their tea after the memorial service with their families. We had a sort of party afterwards, which was quite emotional. I just grinned and grinned. It was like winning the lottery seeing them. Although they had these horrendous injuries they were glad to be alive. I thought, if I do nothing else in my entire police career, I have done something that has made all the aggravation worth it.