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7/7 Bombings: How Newspapers Covered Britain’s First Suicide Attacks

Today marks 11 years since the 7/7 London Bombings

  • 52 people died and 700+ injured in attack on the capital's transport system
  • The Single worst terrorist atrocity on British soil
  • Sadiq Khan has pledged to do "everything possible" to prevent a tragedy like the 7 July attacks happening again

The London 7/7 bombings were an unprecedented attack on the UK capital.

As media and commuters scrambled for information, the details were at first confused. The BBC reported for several hours that the cause of the travel problems in the city that day was a ‘power surge’.

But by July 8 the full horror of the situation was apparent, and Britain’s newspapers revealed the nation’s shock, pain and outrage on their front pages just ours after 52 people died and nearly 800 were injured.

R.I.P to the 52 individuals who lost their lives 11 years ago #LondonBombings #NeverForget #mediabodyguard #crime

52 individuals who lost their lives 11 years ago

Newspaper Front pages July 8th 2005

Daily Mail Newspaper Front page July 8th 2005

The Daily Mail front page ran with a single shocking picture of the bus which was bombed on London’s Tavistock Square, leaving devastation on the road around it. The black background and commemoration of the date of the attacks marks the solemnity in the press that day.

The Sun Newspaper Front page July 8th 2005

The Sun used the same iconic picture of the only 7/7 attack that took place above ground. The total dead (discounting the suicide bombers) was in fact 52, rather than the 53 reported.

Daily Mirror Newspaper Front page July 8th 2005

The Daily Mirror opted for a tone of resilience with its headline ‘Bloodied but unbowed’, coupled with a strapline reading ‘We will hold firm’. It picks up on the words of then Prime Minister Tony Blair, who said in the wake of the bombings that Britain would not be intimidated by terror. The images of injured survivors include Davina Turrell, wearing a white face mask to treat her severe burns, in a picture which became well-known after the bombings.

Daily Star Newspaper Front page July 8th 2005

The Daily Star’s headline ‘Bastards’ evokes the outrage and anger felt by many after the brutal attacks. The paper is one of few to name Al-Qaeda as the organisation which was then suspected, but not confirmed, to have carried out the atrocity.

Daily Telegraph Newspaper Front page July 8th 2005

The Daily Telegraph chose the picture of part-time fireman Paul Dadge, helping facial burns victim Davina Turrell, which became one of the most memorable images from the tragedy.

Metro Newspaper Front page July 8th 2005

The Metro focussed on a personal account.

Guardian Newspaper Front page July 8th 2005

Like many newspapers, The Guardian chose a single striking image of the bus bombed in Tavistock Square for its front page.

Daily Express Newspaper Front page July 8th 2005

A message of strength from The Daily Express’s paper on 8th July stated ‘We Britons will never be defeated’, despite the horror of its top line ‘trapped and burner in the tunnel of death’.

Evening Standard Front pages July 7th 2005

Evening Standard Newspaper Front page July 7th 2005

Unlike most newspapers which didn’t have an edition until the following day, The Evening Standard was able to cover the bombings on the evening of the day they happened. A shot of the destroyed bus from the back covered the front page of London’s newspaper that evening.

Evening Standard Newspaper Front page July 7th 2005

Another version of The Evening Standard’s front page on 7/7 outlined the chaos around the city, with the logo from the City’s victory winning its bid to host the 2012 Olympics still visible on the masthead.

Evening Standard Front pages July 8th 2005

Evening Standard Newspaper Front page July 8th 2005

The next day, The Evening Standard chose to focus on the city’s residents and visitors who were missing after the blasts. Many relatives searched for the dead days before learning their fate.

Evening Standard Newspaper Front page July 8th 2005

The Evening Standard’s later edition on 8th July added more faces to the toll of those missing.

R.I.P to the 52 individuals who lost their lives 11 years ago #LondonBombings #NeverForget #mediabodyguard #crime

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