As British investigators look into possible links between Thursdays (July 21) attempted bombings and deadly blasts two weeks ago, a West Virginia University student is feeling lucky to be alive.
John Langston, a WVU College of Law student studying abroad in London, has been living in a residence hall in Tavistock Square about 70 yards from where a double-decker bus was ripped apart July 7.
That explosion, along with three others on subway trains, claimed more than 50 lives and injured 700 more.
Langston was sleeping when suddenly he woke up to sounds of shattering glass and a shaking building that fateful day.
It sounded as if every door in our building was being slammed simultaneously,he recalled.My first instinct was that the sound must have been created by some type of explosive device.
The next thing he knew there was a rush of police and emergency vehicles to the scene.
After text messaging his girlfriend, the two watched the events unfold on television. At first, CNN reported the explosions were due to a power surge, not bombs.
Journalists said the roof had been ripped off and there were bodies scattered about.
Ironically, there are signs posted throughout Langstons residence hall, as well as where he was taking classes, giving instructions on what to do if a bomb were detonated.
I actually looked at one of the signs the night before and thought to myself, �€~Yeah, rightlike I have to worry about this,he said.
With cell phones down, Langston said residents in the building had to contact their family and friends via the Internet.
Meanwhile, police cordoned off the area outside their building.
I saw a few people walking in the street with blood on their clothes and faces, and I saw people screaming and running away,he remembered.
I think the general consensus from everyone Ive spoken with is that after experiencing 9/11, our attitudes have somewhat become accustomed to the threat of terrorism and the evil it entails,he added.Obviously, most of the British who were seeing for the first time how horrible it really is when innocent people die for no reason were completely shocked.
The day after the bombings, classes were canceled, and police warned those who tried to leave the area that they might not be able to return. Students living in his residence hall were required to carry special passes to show police, who would then escort them into the building.
Despite the attacks, people were determined to go on living their normal lives.
My attitude toward the city is still a positive one, and the bombings have not dissuaded me from using the Tube or other public transportation,he said.
Langston will be returning to the United States Aug. 5. He is one of about a dozen WVU students studying in London this summer. None was hurt in the July 7 or July 21 bombings.