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London bomb victims' evidence released with report

Written by: Staff

LONDON, June 5 (Reuters) Harrowing accounts from victims of last July's London bombings will be published today as part of an official report into the deadly attacks.

Some of the evidence from people caught in the blasts has never been heard before, said a spokesman for the London Assembly, the elected body behind the report.

''We had private sessions with people who were too traumatised, either psychologically or physically, to want to appear in public,'' an Assembly spokesman said.

The response of the police, ambulance and fire crews to London's deadliest attack since World War Two will be assessed.

Health services, telephone firms and the media also face scrutiny.

Four suicide bombers killed 52 commuters in attacks on three trains and a bus in the capital during the morning rush hour on July 7, 2005.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone has said the emergency response ''worked virtually perfectly,'' but witnesses have exposed serious failings during the six-month inquiry.

In March, survivors said some emergency crews were slow to respond to the explosion on a train at Aldgate, in the City of London financial district, because of fears of a secondary blast.

One passenger, named only as Michael, said he walked past police and fire crews on the platform as commuters lay dying in a nearby tunnel.

The Sunday Telegraph said the Assembly's report will praise individual rescue workers but say they were let down by poor planning, bad organisation and communication failures.

The ambulance service will come in for particular criticism, the newspaper said, citing an unnamed senior government source.

The Assembly dismissed the claims as speculative.

Last November, a phone call from a witness of the bus bombing was played to the inquiry.

''There's people lying in the road, there's a London bus, it's a 30 (route number), I think,'' the caller said.

''There's people trying to get out. I think there's ambulances on the way, but there's people dead and everything by the looks of it.'' Reuters PDS VP0445

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