AN ambulance chief today defended paramedics who delayed for 30 minutes going underground to treat the victims of a 7/7 Tube attack.
Twenty-six passengers were killed when former Rawthorpe High School pupil Jermaine Lindsay, 19, detonated a rucksack of homemade explosives on the Piccadilly line between King’s Cross and Russell Square.
Paramedics arrived at King’s Cross about 20 minutes after the blast but rather than go underground they waited to triage (prioritise) passengers who were above ground.
The terrified victims had made it out and were walking away.
But below ground the scene was horrific.
Today, Dr Fiona Moore, medical director for London Ambulance Service, said there was a shortage of information for paramedics to act on.
Neil Saunders, a barrister for 10 bereaved families, said: "What seems to have happened is the initial paramedics arrived about 9.14am then there was a delay before they go underground of about half an hour.
"Mr (Peter) Taylor (a paramedic) explained there was a considerable amount of triaging at the surface - that shouldn’t have happened.
"They were clearly P3s (the least badly injured) coming from the Underground to the surface.
"Is that right?"
Dr Moore answered: "I think it is very easy with the benefit of hindsight to say somebody should have gone down to find out exactly what was happening.
"Given the reality of the situation with the grades, the number of very seriously injured casualties and fatalities were in the most distant carriage.
"I can see the situation in my mind’s eye of being approached by a very large number of people, some with very clear injuries, and feeling that because there weren’t that many people at the time, we had to deal with them because they had the most immediate need."
She said paramedics needed better information.
"But yes, in an ideal situation it would have been better that somebody went down to undertake clinical assessment," she added.