Scottish Tube driver wins judge's praise as hero of 7/7

The Scottish driver of a train blown up in the 7 July, 2005 (7/7) bombings was praised yesterday for helping to save the lives of badly wounded passengers.

Thomas Nairn comforted Paul Glennerster, a keen footballer who lost his leg in the attack, as they waited an hour for paramedics to reach the Piccadilly Line train targeted by teenage suicide bomber Jermaine Lindsay.

Mr Nairn, from Prestwick, also helped other victims as emergency services struggled the deal with the devastation in central London.

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He told the inquests for the 52 victims of the atrocities that the first medics on the scene would not give Mr Glennerster pain relief as they were busy "tagging" the injured to show who needed most urgent treatment.

Mr Nairn's train had just pulled out of King's Cross Tube station when Lindsay, 19, detonated his homemade rucksack bomb at about 8:50am.

There had been delays on the Piccadilly Line and the train was packed with up to 1,500 passengers in "crushed" conditions, the inquests heard.

The driver recalled hearing an "almighty bang" and seeing his cab fill up with acrid black smoke. He looked behind him into the first carriage, where Lindsay had set off his device.

"I could see a few faces around the door. I could see they were blackened and their hair was on end. But I couldn't really see any further into it than that," he said.

Mr Nairn and off-duty Tube train driver Raymond Wright, who was hitching a lift in the driver's cab, switched off the current on the track and helped passengers out of the train.

Mr Glennerster's left leg was badly mangled in the blast but he managed to get off the carriage unaided.

Mr Nairn said: "He had hauled himself out the front of the train so he was hopping out the front of the train. He hopped down the ladders. He had one leg and one leg was missing."

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He advised Mr Glennerster to sit on the ground and wait for help. "I told him he would lose too much blood if he headed towards the platform and I thought it would be better if he waited until the emergency services arrived," he recalled.

Mr Nairn then entered the first carriage and was faced with the carnage left by Lindsay's bomb.

He helped Gill Hicks, who lost both her legs but survived the attack, by finding a belt to tie around one of her wounded limbs. He then went to the crater left in the floor of the carriage by the blast, which "completely confused" him. "At that time I didn't know it had been a bomb.I thought it could have been something to do with a train," he said.

Mr Nairn then helped a man in "deep, deep shock" and a "lucid" woman to get back to the platform at Russell Square Tube station.

Commending Mr Nairn's handling of the crisis yesterday, Coroner Lady Justice Hallet told him: "You obviously did everything according to the book and beyond whatever the book could have expected of you, including playing a significant part in keeping Mr Glennerster alive, so thank you very much for all that you did."