Witness `couldn't see how anyone survived'

 

A TAXI driver who was only 100 yards away when the suspected IRA bomb exploded on a London bus last night said the explosion - appeared to come from the front of the double decker bus.

"To be honest, when I saw the state of the bus I couldn't see how anyone could have survived," Mr John Jones said.

"There was like a dull thud and suddenly there was nothing left of the bus at all, just a skeleton. It all went up in smoke," he said.

"There were two people who I saw who looked badly injured and one of them was the bus driver, who was all covered in blood.

"Debris and glass was floating through the air like snow and smoke was billowing from the bus," said another eyewitness, Mr Charles Schlumberger (36), a banker from Zurich. "People were screaming, and others were crying. There was one other guy who looked to be in a daze but he just walked off."

Mr Raymond Levy, a solicitor, was in his car only 30 feet from the blast.

"I thought there was only the bus driver on board and when I got out of the car and got to the bus, he had got out but there were flames everywhere," he said.

"The engine was still running and I was very worried that the petrol would explode.

"With the help of a cab driver we undid the bonnet of the bus and turned the engine off."

He added: "The bus driver was the only person that I saw injured and the emergency services were on the scene within about two minutes.

"There were a few passers by around and one woman was in shock and was running down the road screaming."

Cab driver Mr Mel Davis (34), said he was within 20 yards of the bus when the bomb went off.

"I just heard this loud bang and crouched under my steering wheel, there was glass showered everywhere and it caused a lot of damage to my cab.

"I saw one guy, he must have been within yards of the bomb itself in the bus, just walk out of the bus through the hole which the bomb caused. It was quite unbelievable he was able to walk away. I reckon he won the lottery."

Mr Davis paid tribute to the Mr Levy's bravery. "That bloke was just unbelievable, he walked on to the bus and tried to stop the engine and then went under the bonnet and stopped it running that way."