FOB honoured for London bombing first aid work

Falcon Old Boy, Adrian Heili (Tredgold 1999) has featured in the news after giving evidence at the 7/7 Bombings Inquest. The embedded movie below gives the main details of his quick-thinking action on 7th July 2005 when terrorist bomber Mohammed Sidique Khan detonated a bomb in a tube train he was on at Edgware Road tube station, killing six people.

Adrian Heili, Tredgold 1999One of the worst-injured survivors of the bomb was Daniel Biddle, who lost both legs, his spleen and his left eye. When the bomb went off, he was thrown out of the carriage and into the gap between the train and the wall of the tunnel.

Adrian Heili had been in the carriage behind Biddle’s. Adrian heard Biddle calling out and shouted to him out of the train.

Adrian forced the door open then jumped onto the adjacent track before working his way to an area close to where Biddle’s cries were coming from. There he met a driver, Lee Hunt, who had been taking a refreshment break at the station. Lee Hunt remarked that that the tracks might still be live, but both he and Adrian, ignoring all risk, continued on their way to Daniel Biddle; Adrian by crawling under the train through a pool of blood and Lee Hunt through the end of the train.

When they got there, Adrian lifted some heavy debris from Biddle’s legs, then, realising that Biddle had lost a leg, Adrian closed Biddle’s femoral artery with his thumb and forefinger, and fitted his own belt as a tourniquet round Biddle’s other leg, which was so badly injured that his foot was barely hanging on. He dressed his other wounds and was then joined by Lee Hunt. The two of them kept Biddle alive until a paramedic arrived, whereupon Adrian helped to insert an IV line, then went to look for a stretcher.

After helping to carry Biddle to waiting ambulances Adrian went back to the carriage, moved some of the dead bodies to clear the way for the injured and the emergency services. He then continued to return to the carriage, each time helping injured passengers back to the platform and being the last to leave the train. He is credited with the saving of a further 16 passengers.

For his actions that day, Adrian received the Queen’s commendation for bravery and was told by the coroner that his behaviour had been “cool, calm, collected and courageous … I cannot believe that the brave Mr Biddle would have survived his horrific injuries but for your intervention.” He was also awarded the Silver Medal of the Royal Humane Society in October 2008 and the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery in January 2009. In December 2008, the Committee of the Royal Humane Society awarded him its prestigious Stanhope Medal after considering six other nominations from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Britain.

Sources: Channel 4 News, The Guardian website, The Royal Humane Society website

Colin Bewes – H’79

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