7/7 survivor is reunited with man who saved her
Gill Hicks, who lost both legs below the knee in the atrocity ten years ago today, broke down in tears as she hugged PC Andrew Maxwell outside King’s Cross station in London.
PC Maxwell was one of the Metropolitan Police officers who saved her life by using a makeshift stretcher to carry her out of a Tube tunnel so she could receive emergency medical treatment.
Ms Hicks had been on board the Piccadilly-line train that Jermaine Lindsay, 19, blew up between King’s Cross and Russell Square stations.
Their impromptu reunion came as Ms Hicks helped to launch a walk by faith leaders yesterday, promoting religious unity ahead of today’s anniversary of the attacks. After embracing in front of the cameras, the two friends met privately without talking to reporters.
Ms Hicks presented PC Maxwell with a commendation for “extreme courage” in 2006.
Speaking at the time, she said she had formed an “indescribable bond” with her rescuers.
She said: “I have since gone on a journey of discovery to all who were there at the scene so I can meet and thank them. I am pleased to say that the vital ones are now best friends.
“It’s wonderful, it is a bond that is almost indescribable. How do you say thank you to someone who saves your life?
“I hope we can say that we will be friends for life, I hope that is how it stays. It is just remarkable people have risked their lives in saving me.”
After the reunion, Imam Qari Asim, of Leeds’s largest mosque, Makkah Masjid, the Rev Bertrand Olivier, vicar of All-Hallows-by-the-Tower in the City of London, and Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, from the Movement for Reform Judaism, led a procession for the short walk to Tavistock Square, with a floral tribute reading “Together”.
Ms Hicks was due to join the walk but pulled out at the last minute for health reasons.
Backed by politicians Boris Johnson, Tessa Jowell, Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith, the walk was part of an initiative calling on people in London to “walk together” on the 7/7 anniversary today by finishing their morning bus or Tube commute one stop early and walking for the remaining few minutes.
Arriving in Tavistock Square, they laid the wreath under a tree after praying together.
Imam Asim said it was important to send out a message of solidarity with the victims of 7/7, which included people of all faiths, and against terrorists. They are deluded, poisonous individuals and groups of people who want to bring chaos and mayhem to our country and abroad,” he said during the walk.
“Terrorists are recruiting young individuals from the Muslim community and as a result it is extremely important for Muslims to stand up and say no to hatred. An attack on British soil or abroad is an attack on all of us. We are sending out a strong message to extremists that we will not let you win.
“Hatred and violence has no place in our society, our community and our globe.”
Mr Olivier said: “We are sending out a message loud and clear that when we walk together and talk together, we can build a society where everyone is valued and no one needs to get violent in order to get heard.”