7/7 survivor saved by 'favourite' Tube seat

A MAN only survived the 7/7 London attacks because he was sitting in his "favourite" seat on one of the Tube trains targeted by suicide bombers, the inquest into the bombings has heard.

Professor Philip Patsalos lost a leg in the blast on the Piccadilly Line service targeted by Jermaine Lindsay, 19, between King's Cross and Russell Square stations on 7 July, 2005.

But he said he would have been killed if he had opted for his second-favourite seat, which was closer to where the teenage terrorist detonated his device.

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Prof Patsalos also described how a member of the emergency services passed by him in the bombed carriage, apparently thinking he was dead because he was surrounded by motionless bodies.

On the morning of the bombings, he had a "very modest" lie-in before setting off for the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in central London, the inquests for the 52 victims of the attacks heard.

As usual, he got on the first carriage of the train at Southgate Tube station and chose his favourite seat, No 90 on a plan used by the inquest team.

Prof Patsalos, an epilepsy specialist at University College London, said he was "fortunate" to end up in his first choice seat that day.

"I was about three feet away from the bomber," he told the hearing. "If I sat on my second- favourite seat, I would have been three centimetres from the bomber, and I wouldn't be here today."

Telling of the moment the bomb went off, Prof Patsalos added: "I was shaking, I remember seeing my brain, my skele-ton. I could see peculiar things.

"I remember thinking to myself, 'when is this going to finish?' It probably only lasted a few seconds, but it seemed like eternity."