7/7 survivor tells how he found love after attack

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A SURVIVOR of the 7 July bombing in London has told how trying to recover from the horror of the suicide attack on the Tube brought him together with his wife.

Bruce Lait, formerly one of the UK’s top ballroom and Latin dancers, had been on his way with professional partner Crystal Yelland to rehearsals for the Simply Ballroom stage show tour when 22-year-old Shehzad Tanweer unleashed devastation, killing seven people. The 39-year-old said yesterday that, afterwards, the two considered dropping out of the show before deciding to carry on in a bid to get away from what they had experienced.

It was while they were on tour in Blackpool, Lancashire, that he met Ildiko Balog, now 35, a Hungarian gymnast who competed at the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992 and four years later in Atlanta. They now have two children, Izabell, four, and nine-month-old Benjamin.

Speaking after he met the Queen at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, yesterday, he said: “After the bombing we did not want anything to do with our previous lives. [But] we did the show and my wife was there.”

The dancers had travelled to London from Ipswich for a rehearsal for the dance show and were in the second carriage of the Circle Line train when the bomb went off. Mr Lait told the 2010 inquest into the attack how he held the hand and tried to comfort 29-year-old solicitor Fiona Stevenson, from Little Baddow, in Essex, before she died in his lap.

He suffered burns and cuts and two perforated eardrums, only one of which fully healed.

At the same time, Mrs Yelland was sitting partially covered by the body of 24-year-old Carrie Taylor, from Billericay in Essex, a finance officer at the Royal Society of Arts.