Thursday, August 04, 2005

London Tube Bombing Survivor Speaks

Garri Holness is a Jamaican singer who was on his way to work via the London Tube the morning of July 7. Sitting near him was Jermaine Lindsay, Muslim fanatic and suicide bomber, who detonated himself. Garri survived. Twenty-six people died. He tells his story to BBC Radio 4:

"The second train came, which was also packed. And I thought, well, I have got to get to work, so I boarded that train. And on that train I think I was in the first carriage. So I got into there, holding to the pole, and then the train started going along. I don't know if it was about two minutes or five minutes, but something happened. I don't know what happened.

"And my head hit the blue pole that was in front of me. It smacked it, kind of thing. And I remained holding on to it with my left hand, and saying: 'I have got to keep focused, I have got to keep focused.'

"And I was looking around me, the lights were, like... doubling, and things like that, and it was like being in a rave where you could still make people out and still make out bits and pieces. I was kind of focusing in and around me.

"Now, at that point I didn't realise that my leg had already gone. The bottom part of my left leg had already gone.

"And I was on the floor. While I was on the floor, whatever overtook me I don't know, I started pulling people to one side, and saying: 'Calm down, calm down, we're going to get out'.

"And as I got a little way in, a woman called Alison was saying to me: 'Now look, Garri, calm down. Let's get onto the chair now.'

"At that minute a girl screamed: 'I've lost my leg! I've lost my leg!' And then I kind of looked at my leg, and I noticed that my leg was, like, hanging on - my left leg. And I looked at it, and it was such a funny angle I just knew I had lost my leg at that time.

"And then I pulled myself up, with the strength of my arms, onto a chair. And when I was on the chair, Alison was saying to me, like: 'Garri, you have got to stay with me'.

"And blood was, like, oozing all over the place, and I turned up and I was really, really faint, and faintness just kept on hitting me, and the next thing I remember was I was going down. And I said I kind of couldn't stay on the seat no longer and I kind of leaned down and stretched out to kind of go back onto the floor.

"But when I put my hands onto the floor, I felt, kind of... flesh. And it was gooey and it was horrible.

"And I thought, no, I'm not feeling that, and I moved my hand to another position, and there was like the exact same thing, and it was horrible.

"So I thought: 'I have got to stay up here'. And then Alison, I said: 'Alison, can you get me a bag or something to rest my head on?' And she says: 'No, rest your head on my lap.'

"And obviously this woman had superficial injuries herself, and she was sitting with me and she was there with me and she was there with me.

"And all of a sudden I saw flashlights coming from the driver's side. The ambulance and the police came in. And they took everybody out, bit by bit. And me and Alison was the last two to leave.

"The next thing I remember was waking up four days after at the Royal Free Hospital, still not knowing what's happened. And then my brother told me that there was four bombs that went off, and I was, like: 'What?' I couldn't believe it.

"I don't think... The only thing, I think, I need to know is where the bomb went off on the train exactly, but I kind of think I know where it went off.

"But I don't think I need to know any more details about the bombers as well, because they seemed like... sheep. Following a flock, you know? You know, they haven't got their own mind, they're brainwashed. I don't really need to know any more about them, because my mind is already set about them. They have been in the newspapers, I have read bits of articles about them so my mind is already set on them.

"I have worked out what kind of people they are, but apart from that that's about it as regards detail, apart from that I think it is time for me to move on."

(Sarah Nelson, the reporter, points out that the bomber was from Jamaica.)

"Exactly. My family is from Jamaica. And that's what I'm saying, in terms of I don't need to know any more, because, really, he is killing one of his own. And on top of that, as well, when I look at it, they said that the same individual has got a girlfriend who has got a child and a child on the way. Your mind must be really, really warped to be leaving a child, you girlfriend first and foremost but your child and a child on the way. Fatherless.

"He must have been brought up better than that, because as I say, I'm from West Indian background like this fellow's from a West Indian background, and I know for a fact how the West Indian background bring their kids up. They instill discipline, and manners. And respect.

"But I haven't got no malice against anybody, I'm just going to get on with my life, because if I have that malice or that anger or anything like that, I'm only going to be held back. And I don't want to be held back, I'm too positive and too strong to be held back. I need to just go forward now.

"I have just got to remain positive at the end of the day. Not being funny, but seeing silly little programmes like The Bionic Man, and Heather Mills, and seeing things like that, and reading in the paper about the man with the bionic arm and things like that is giving me hope, making me positive.

"You have football teams that have got amputees, amputee football teams. So little things like that are helping me.

"I'm not going that fast as to be playing football, but if I am able to go to work, come home, and do what I'm doing, and sing - I'm a singer, I do lots of work with Charles Bailey [hip-hop record producer] - as long as I can get along with doing that, because, like, my voice ain't going anywhere, then I will be happy. Because I have been blessed. God saved me for a reason.

"I have had that counselling, support and various other things, and I will use that in time. But as you can see I'm just naturally a bubbly person, you know. In time they say I might have my down periods, but I'm just me. I'm naturally a bubbly person, everyone says that to me. In fact, some woman came in and she said when she saw me on the table: 'That's not Garri, because he's not smiling, and the Garri we know he always has a smile on him'.

"So I'm just naturally the way I am. I might need counselling, but I don't think I will. The best thing for me is just to move on now."

Another glorious victory for Islam.


Blogger Miss B G said...

Hi, My name is Beth Gaydon and I am researching for a book I am writing about hope and inspirational people. I am trying very hard to get hold of Garri Holness - a victim in the London bombings. I would value any information about how I can contact him. I am keen to interview him for inclusion in this book. His story is amazing. Can anyone help me?

Mon Nov 07, 05:35:00 PM 2005  
Anonymous Fredric Dold said...

Good blog. Keep it running!

Wed Dec 07, 02:21:00 PM 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said... that you, Baby?? give me a call pomeyXX

Wed Aug 16, 06:29:00 AM 2006  

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