A survivor of the 7/7 London terror attacks has had an emotional reunion with one of her saviours today.
Gill Hicks, who lost both legs below the knee in the atrocity almost 10 years ago, broke down in tears as she hugged Pc Andrew Maxwell outside King’s Cross station in London.
Pc Maxwell was one of the Metropolitan Police officers who saved her life by using a makeshift stretcher to carry her out of a Tube tunnel so she could receive emergency medical treatment.
Ms Hicks had been on board the Piccadilly line train that Jermaine Lindsay, 19, devastatingly blew up between King’s Cross and Russell Square station.
Their impromptu reunion came as Ms Hicks helped to launch a walk by faith leaders promoting religious unity ahead of the anniversary of the attacks.
After embracing in front of the cameras, the two friends met privately without talking to reporters.
Ms Hicks presented Pc Maxwell with a higher commendation for “extreme courage” in 2006.
Speaking at the time, she said she had formed an “indescribable bond” with her rescuers.
She said: “I have since gone on a journey of discovery of all who were there at the scene so I can meet and thank them. I am pleased to say that the vital ones are now best friends.
“It’s wonderful, it is a bond that is almost indescribable. How do you say thank you to someone who saves your life?
“I hope we can say that we will be friends for life, I hope that is how it stays. It is just remarkable people have risked their lives in saving me.”
Earlier she carried a floral tribute reading “Together” along with Imam Qari Asim, of Leeds’ largest mosque Makkah Masjid, the Rev Bertrand Olivier, vicar of All-Hallows-by-the-Tower in the City of London, and Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, from Movement for Reform Judaism.
The small procession is part of an initiative calling on people in London to “walk together” on the 7/7 anniversary tomorrow by finishing their morning bus or Underground commute one stop early and walking the last few minutes.
It has been backed by politicians Boris Johnson, Tessa Jowell, Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith.
Mr Asim said: “This is an important moment for us all in Britain - a time to mourn and remember, but also to think about the society we are and that we want to be.
“It’s been a difficult decade and we still face many problems. For me as a Muslim, it’s important to challenge these vile people who claim to be acting in the name of my faith when they kill innocent men and women. For us all, it’s important to stand together in the face of those who want to divide us.”
Think-tank British Future, which helped to organise the event, said the idea was inspired by the scenes on London’s streets 10 years ago when public transport closed down and thousands walked home.
Mr Olivier said: “The 2005 bombings were a tragedy for all of London and on this 10th anniversary it is clearer than ever that we must keep working together as neighbours with hope, tolerance and care to ensure that extremists who seek to drive a wedge between us do not succeed.”
Ms Janner-Klausner said: “The attacks on London were an attack on all of us - black and white, rich and poor, different faiths and none. That’s why we’ve decided to join hands today and call on people all over Britain to walk side by side in a moment of remembrance and of unity on 7/7. That would be a very powerful statement about who we are as a country.”