7/7 inquest: Victim saved by 'favourite' seat

A scientist only survived the 7/7 attacks because he was sitting in his "favourite" seat on one of the Tube trains targeted by suicide bombers, an inquest heard today.

Professor Philip Patsalos lost a leg in the blast on the Piccadilly Line service targeted by Jermaine Lindsay, 19, between King's Cross and Russell Square stations in London on July 7 2005.

But he said he would have been killed if he had opted for his second favourite seat, which was just inches from where the teenage terrorist detonated his device.

Prof Patsalos also described how a member of the emergency services passed by him in the bombed carriage, apparently thinking he was dead because he was surrounded by motionless bodies.

On the morning of the bombings, he had a "very modest" lie-in before setting off for the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in central London, the inquests for the 52 victims of the attacks heard.

As usual he got on the first carriage of the Piccadilly Line train at Southgate Tube station and chose his favourite seat, number 90 on a plan used by the inquest team.

Prof Patsalos, an epilepsy specialist at University College London's institute of neurology, said he was "fortunate" to end up in his first choice seat that day.

"If I was seated on seat 90, I was about 3ft away from the bomber," he told the hearing.

"If I sat on my second favourite seat, I would have been 3cm from the bomber and I wouldn't be here today."

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