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Bus driver recounts bomb horror

George Psaradakis, 49, was driving the bus when it was attacked with explosives.




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LONDON, England (CNN) -- The driver of the London double-decker bus that was turned into a mangled mass of metal in Thursday's bombings recalled "a bang, then carnage" Friday as he described his horror.

More than 50 people were killed in the four terrorist attacks, including 13 on the No. 30 bus at Tavistock Place, near Euston railway station.

The explosion peeled the roof off the bus, leaving shattered glass, a few seats and twisted debris.

The bombings wounded more than 700 people, said Metropolitan Police Commissioner Ian Blair. The bus was the last target to be hit.

The thoughts of the driver, George Psaradakis, 49, were released in a written statement Friday by Transport for London, the government body that oversees the transportation system, including the London Stagecoach fleet of buses.

He is considered a key witness in the investigation.

Psaradakis, who has been with the company for three years, said his bus route was changed after the bombings of three trains on London's Underground transit system.

"My bus had been diverted because there were thousands of people coming out of the tube. There were many people who were trying to get on the bus at once," he said.

"Suddenly there was a bang, then carnage. Everything seemed to happen behind me. I am still in great shock and many terrible things are still coming back to me about what I saw."

Psaradakis suffered bruises and cuts in the blast.

"I tried to help the poor people" the driver said. "There were many injured people, and I thought, 'How am I alive when everyone is dying around me?' The police then had to take me away because they were concerned there might be further explosions."

The bus was traveling from Marble Arch to Hackney Wick when the bomb went off about 9:50 a.m. near Russell Square in central London.

Psaradakis thanked his colleagues at Stagecoach and other bus companies for their show of support.

"I have been very lucky. I am just relieved to be here and to be able to see my wife and children. Many other people have not been so fortunate. I feel for the people that have perished and for their families.

"I am pleased that many people in London are still getting the bus, despite what has happened," he said.

"We are going to continue our normal lives. We are not going to be intimidated. I need some time to recover from what has happened, but I want to get back to work with Stagecoach and see all the great people at the depot."

Barry Arnold, managing director of Stagecoach London, said the company is committed to security and will review its measures in light of the attacks.

The police commissioner said investigators so far had found no evidence of suicide bombers or of timing devices used with the bombs but admitted the investigation was in very early stages.

"There is absolutely nothing to suggest this was a suicide bomb," he said, referring directly to the bus bomb.

"It may have been that, but it may also have been a bomb that was left on the seat. It may also have been a bomb that went off in transit. These things are still open to the investigation."

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