Lack of radio system for underground hampered emergency services on 7 July

Will Hadfield

The absence of a radio system on the London Underground limited the ability of emergency services to treat survivors of the 7 July bombings.

The London Assembly’s review of the emergency services’ response to the bombings found that trains were unable to communicate with either the emergency services or the London Underground Network Control Centre.

People from both London Underground and the emergency services had to run between station platforms and stricken trains to pass messages.

No radio system had been implemented even though one was recommended 18 years ago in the official inquiry into the King’s Cross Fire in 1988.

The London Assembly said that the two companies running the underground – Metronet and Tubelines – should be made to implement a new system when their contracts come up for renewal in 2010.

Transport for London was asked by the review to implement an interim system by the end of 2007.


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