LONDON – As Londoners tentatively returned to their jobs today and the slightly injured were discharged from hospitals across the city, the search for the missing began.
In contrast to the millions of frantic telephone calls and text messages that jammed the mobile phone networks yesterday, today's messages, Web postings and appeals are fewer, clearer and more insistent.
Philip Russell (search), a 28-year-old report writer at JP Morgan has not been seen since he called his parents and office as he left Euston station yesterday morning. Russell said he was catching a bus and would be late.
Natasha Amner, Russell's cousin, said: "We believe he was very likely to be involved in the area of the bus explosion. He is a very caring person who would've definitely called home, or someone, if he could."
Neetu Jain, 37, vanished after she, too, was evacuated from Euston Station (search) and headed for a bus to take her to work as a computer analyst. Jain was planning to move in with her boyfriend, Gous Ali. Ali, a property developer, said that his girlfriend would have been in the area of Tavistock Square, where the No. 30 bus was destroyed.
"I just don’t know what to do. I’m going crazy," said Ali, who appealed for any information about her whereabouts.
Relatives said that Miriam Hyman, who is in her 20s, and comes from Finchley (search), North London, has not been heard from since 9.30am yesterday morning when she was outside King’s Cross station. Hyman's father, John, said he called Miriam, who works as a picture researcher, when he heard the first reports of disruption in London.
"It was a very bad line, I couldn’t hear what she was saying. She was milling around outside King’s Cross and that was the last I heard from her," Hyman said today. "We don’t think she would have been on a train but we are concerned that she may have been on the bus." Along with other people searching for loved ones, friends today posted pictures of Hyman at King’s Cross, next to flowers to commemorate the dead.
David Webb came to place photographs of his missing sister Laura Webb, who was traveling on the Underground from Kings Cross to Paddington yesterday morning. Webb, from Islington, said goodbye to her boyfriend Chris Driver, on Thursday morning and may have traveled via Edgware Road. "I said goodbye to her yesterday morning. She was running a little bit late, but happy as always. It was 8:15am," said Driver today. "It’s very difficult, I just want to find her."
Jamie Gordon, 30, is thought to have been hurt in the bus explosion in Tavistock Place. Today his girlfriend, Yvonne Nash, put his photograph up in Tavistock Square. Gordon is reported to have called his office at 9:40am saying he was on a bus from Euston. One his colleagues at City Asset Management today said Gordon's mobile phone had been found in the wreckage of the bus. "It’s been devastating to be without him for just a day. It’s been 27 hours and we don’t know if he is dead or alive. He had been out drinking with work colleagues on Wednesday night and had stayed at a friend’s house," said Nash today.
"If he had been at home, he would not have taken that route into work and would have been nowhere near the explosion when it happened," she said.
Michael Matsushita, 37, only arrived to live in London a few weeks ago. Matsushita moved to the city from New York to live with his fiancee, Rosie Cowen, 28. The couple met in Vietnam where they were working as tour guides. Matsushita left the couple's flat in Islington on Thursday morning to take the Piccadilly Line train from King’s Cross, but he never arrived at work in Holborn. Cowen and her family have visited every London hospital that treated survivors, but with no luck.
Friends of Monika Suchocka, 23, are in the same unhappy situation. Suchocka, from northern Poland, arrived in London two months ago to start work as a trainee accountant. Suchocka, who has blonde hair and blue eyes and is around 5-feet 6-inches tall was last seen heading for work in West Kensington yesterday morning. "She would normally take the Tube, but we have been told that at 8.40 she rang her company to say she would be late, and was taking a bus, but we just don’t know what happened after that," her friend, Magdalena Dondelewska said today.
Anthony Fatayi-Williams, 26, an executive with an oil and gas company based in Old Street, was traveling to work with his friend Fiorina Fortunato on the Northern Line heading south when the two separated. "I stayed on the train and went on to Tottenham Court Road, but Anthony got off because there were no Bank trains and that was what he needed. I assume he was getting a bus. That was some time after 8.30am. He called his office at around 8.40am, but I’ve not heard from him since," Fortunato said. She added that Fatayi-Williams, who is of Nigerian origin and has been living in the UK for eight years, would be easy to recognize as he has a tattoo on his upper right arm with his initials, AFW, has flat feet and has a scar on the left side of his chest. Fortunato said she was a neighbor and long-standing friend of Fatayi-Williams, and the two had started going out together as a couple within the last two weeks. Fatayi-Williams’s friend Rajeet Sahni, 22, "He would have been wearing a dark suit, he always looked sharp. He was a fun guy." Another friend Amrit Walia said: "We have checked every one of the seven of the crisis hospitals and out of all the other 70 hospitals we have done quite a few and we can’t find him. All the people who have not been identified don’t fit his description."
James Mayes, 28, works as an analyst for the Healthcare Commission and had just returned from a holiday in Prague on Wednesday evening, when his mother Rosemary last heard from him. On Thursday morning he was heading from his home in Barnsbury to an ‘away day’ at Lincoln’s Inn, and was thought to be traveling by tube via Kings Cross, but he never arrived. His sister, Rachel, 31, a teacher, and his flatmate Katrina Keough spent today going around London hospitals visiting him. "I didn’t really ask him details of where he was going on Thursday because he’s 28 now and I don’t ask him every little detail. I was working on Thursday and then went to an exhibition, so at first I didn’t know anything about what had happened. It was only later that I got a call from his work.
Richard Ellery, 21, was traveling from his home in Ipswich to his job in the Jessops store in Kensington yesterday, via Liverpool Street Station. He texted his parents, Beverley and Trevor, at 8.30am to say he was on his way to work, but never arrived. Trevor Ellery traveled from his home in Southampton with his other son Timothy, 19, and the family’s local vicar to look for Richard. "We have tried all means of getting in touch with Richard, and would welcome news from anyone who may have seen him or knows where he is," Ellery said as he made his way to Liverpool station.
Michelle Outto, 46, a dental technician, was traveling to Knightsbridge when she disappeared. Her Northern Line train had been diverted via King’s Cross because of a signal failure. Her sister Diana Gorodi criticized the authorities for not providing information to anxious relatives looking for loved ones. Sobbing, she said on the steps of University College Hospital, where she was searching for her: "I am desperate for information. I can’t wait for days while they count the bodies. Just say that they are dead at least."
Phil Beer, 22, a hair stylist, was on his way to work and believed to be at Russell Square with his best friend Patrick Barnes. Barnes was injured and later told Beer’s older sister Stacy that he heard his friend cry out. But his eyes had been sprayed with glass and he also suffered a broken leg. In the confusion of the underground carriage wreck he was unable to find out what happened to his friend. Stacy Beer, 24, said she had taken her brother to Elstree and Borehamwood station to catch a train to King’s Cross with Barnes at 8.10am. "At 9.30am Pat phoned me, hysterical, to say that the bombs had gone off and he couldn’t find Phil. He said he spoke to Phil after the explosion and called out to him. He said ‘Are we going to die?’ and Phil said ‘No, we are not going to die’ and that was all the conversation they had."
Elizabeth Daplyn, 26, an administrator at University College Hospital in London, left home in Highgate with her partner Rob Brennan before taking a Piccadilly Line train for Kings Cross and Russell Square. Her friend Pamela Hutchinson said: “We know because of that that she was gheading for work. Rob is very distressed, as we all are.”
Karolina Gluck, 29, from Poland, said goodbye to boyfriend Richard Deer, 28, at 8.30am yesterday and has not been seen since. The administrative worker was traveling from Finsbury Park tube to Russell Square for work. Her twin sister Magda said: “We are really worried. We don’t know what’s happened to her. The worst thing is waiting for a phone call.”
Friends of Christian 'Njoya' Small, 28, from Walthamstow, east London, have heard nothing from him since he left for his advertising sales job yesterday morning. Andrew Togobo said: “We are just really worried now but are hoping he might just be trapped.”
A married mother-of-three Ojara Ikeagwu, 55, from Luton, has been missing since yesterday morning. She caught her usual train into King’s Cross on her way to Hounslow where she is a social worker - and would have taken a Picadilly Line tube to get there. Her family were today looking for her in London. Cousin Chris Agwu, 45, from Kent, told Sky News: “We are just hoping and praying that before the end of the day we will able to find her - maybe injured, but that we will find her. With every passing hour we get more concerned.”
Two desperately worried friends of Turkish student Gamze Gunoral, 24, were today trying to get in touch with her. She left her aunt’s house in north London to catch the tube yesterday morning to go to her language college in Hammersmith, West London. One of her friends, Serif Kunt, said: “We are very worried. We have tried to ring her mobile lots of times. We don’t have any idea where she could be.”
Marie Hartley, 34, has not been in contact with her family at home in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, since yesterday’s explosions. She was in London on a course and her family believe she was traveling on the bus at the time of the bomb blast in Tavistock Square, at 9.47am. Her next door neighbor, Ian McMinn, said everybody was hoping she was in hospital unable to get to a phone.
He told local news program Granada Reports: “She is a very bubbly person, very family-orientated and if there was any chance she could have contacted home she would have done." Her husband David Hartley said he was too upset to talk about his missing wife but appealed for anybody who had any information about her to let the authorities know.
Martine Wright, 32, of Stroud Green, a marketing director who works at Tower Hill has now been found, but she is in a critical condition.