MSNBC is asking those in London to share their experiences related to the attacks on the city's transit system. London resident Saira Khan submitted this diary, along with the accompanying photos, of her experience on Thursday.
Author's note: "This is just a short diary I wrote while I was in the train stuck between Aldgate East and Liverpool street station, at what seems to be a long day I would say has taught me allot about the people of London -- we are definitely a cosmopolitan city that host all different kinds of people that united today as humans as a family to help each other and share each others pain. My sincere thoughts are with those that have been injured and killed in this event. May all the families, loved ones and friends of those involved in whatever area of this journey remember that you are in our thoughts and London will remain strong and raise above this to help each other return to a normal day tomorrow.It certainly calls upon us to reflect on what has gone on and how it has affected us. Remain strong and uphold the London spirit of a truly strong city."
8:49: BANG -- A SUDDEN STOP-JERK -- Looks of worry are being exchanged for a split second, its one of the few situations where people have almost found the courage to look at each other as the present rules of London underground are to avoid any contact with the people you travel amongst!
That's it people just wait and carry on reading there papers, books, notes, listen to music and some closed there eyes and remain steady for the normal announce meant to tell us 'We are on the move again'.... But something is strangely different, the emergency lights are on inside the carriage and outside on the tracks.
9:00: Announcement: 'Ladies and gentlemen ... they are unaware of what has caused this delay, a suspected fuse has blown on the tracks' which has caused the emergency lights to operate inside and outside the track.
9:10: 'They are unaware of the problem and have no idea what has gone wrong,' the tone is somewhat worrying and there is a sense that this will take long. That's it one takes jacket off, the body language says its going to be a long wait. Two take the ground and take their seat ...you hear load sighs ... teeth being kissed ...tuts ... and the floor is taken by a few more that can find room. It's the ladies that have occupied the floor whilst men remain standing trying to find something to read.
9:15: Shuffling begins, more coughs, throat clearing practices are performed. We are all waiting... 'SOME BODY MAKE SOME SOUND' !!! It's a deadly silence
9:20: No further updates have been given. Driver makes small announcement with a worried sound and the sounds of police sirens in the background. It must be his other radio. He says, 'I am still in the dark! Be ready to give up your seats if you need too- and open the end cart windows so ventilation is increased'...
A further few take the floor, occupy their territories and mark their ground with bags to announce with their actions that 'This is my area' do not step over! At the same time its strange as some have still tightly clenched to the poles of the cabin, ready for what we would say take off ... to be on the move again ... but it was a getting a little obvious that this problem will take a while!
9:25: We hear a abrupt comment of a male voice' that's my paper- you just took it and sat on it.' She answers back. Its unclear what she is saying in response ... the voice is from the other end of the cabin ... I hear 'Shut up yourself' that's it , it ends he carries on mumbling under his tongue... people exchange looks again of disgust towards the male and this is the last actions we need as we all a family that need to stay calm in the train ... thank God he settled down ... we carry on ... conversations begin.
9:28: Announcement ' A serious incident has occurred in London' That's all I know we may need to de-train this train'
THE MEN TAKE THE GROUND and join the ladies in our wait, for what we didn't know the services, the announcement or maybe the train to be on the move again.
A gentleman from the next carriage clears the confusion and a Bluetooth informs us that there have been a series of blasts in London which are causing the delays. The message is passed through the train like Chinese whispers.
They're here . Everyone rises to their feet quickly and gathers there belonging (jackets, jumpers, bags, newspaper) ready for exit. But is going to be a little longer than that.
The transport police enter the cabin and we are informed that we will be evacuated out. After the departure of pregnant ladies first the queue continues and one by one we start to exit the train. My bag is taken by the team and I am helped down the stairs of the train onto the stone filled tracks. I look up as my bag is returned and I am told to carry on to the next member of staff. As I look out in the dull lights I see a line of people standing ready to help us get safely to Aldgate East station. Carefully and slowly I walk where I am told and miss the tracks by taking a long stride over it carefully as told to try not to touch them. I make it and the member of the fire brigade gives me bottled water! And smiles. Its ok just carry on outside where you will be seen....
Announcement by the people in a big yellow jacket! 'Everybody be ready to give your names and addresses and please stay calm and cooperative. We will ask you of what you saw this morning on your journey, please inform us of any thing unusual or suspicious you may have seen.'
We board the bus is full and we carry on ... no one knows where but one thing is clear that it s out of London, and will be heading out ,not in. Phone calls are starting to pick up, the odd phone works.
My phone rings, its my brother. 'Are you OK? we are worried.' I have a tear, in-fact my eyes fill with water and my vision is blurred. As I speak to my mum and my family, they inform me of the awful incidents that have taken place in London this morning. That's it I shake and count myself very luck and begin to think about all that are injured or hurt. People are still worried. The voice mail signs comes up....text being calculating on my phone and the calls start coming in. Spain, America, Canada ,Australia, UK family and friends are worried all around the world!! I am lucky to have them care, but the feeling inside is indescribable, it's awful, something that has never been felt before, and its not going away.
The bus stops in a side road somewhere and there is one behind us. We all exit and have three gentlemen from a police car exit with clipboards, and inform us that our names and addresses will be taken. We give our details and explain what we saw and heard. It takes a while by this time we all are unaware of time, and have forgotten our purpose of the day. Everything is pushed aside people just want to leave the area
The bus continues on to East London we carry on home.
Its an indescribable day its not until I saw the news to realize what has happened. Shock, sorrow, horror, luck, love, appreciation, all these emotions are passing us all by and hitting us in the course of this horrific morning I think many had more than tears, shaking hands were all around us.
Amongst all this it was strange but a sense of no matter who was there all different races and religions and ages, we all felt like a family, a family of human kind. There was no difference of what we have all been through. It was a united feeling of helping each other and just grouping up letting each other use our phones, giving our water food and just comforting one and other, as we all knew we are in this together.
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