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Mother of Hendon man Anthony Fatayi-Williams said his death on July 7 2005 was preventable
THE mother of a Hendon man killed on the bus in Tavistock Square during the July 7 terror attacks has described his death as “totally preventable”.
Anthony Fatayi-Williams was one of thirteen people killed when Hasib Hussain detonated the bomb in his backpack on the top deck of the Number 30 bus just before 9.50am on July 7, 2005.
The 26-year-old, like many on the bus, had been forced to change his method of travel because of the chaos caused by the earlier bombings on three Tube trains.
Hussain had been due to attack the Underground as well, but had forgotten his battery and was forced to improvise and take the bus after buying a new one at WH Smith in Kings Cross.
Today Marie Fatayi-Williams paid tribute to her son at the first day of the inquest into the deaths on the bus at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London.
She said: “Anthony's life was cut short in a needless, totally unnecessary and preventable attack on London.
“His family continues to miss him sorely, even after these five years. We, his parents, continue to wonder if his death could have been prevented or even the attacks foreseen by the relevant authorities.”
She told the hearing the Nigerian-born oil executive had been determined to get from his home near Hendon Central station to his company offices in Old Street to report on a conference he had been at the previous day for employers Amec.
However, his determination led to him taking the bus, something he reported to his bosses at 9.47am, just before the explosion.
Mrs Fatayi-Williams added: “There was nothing to suggest that Anthony was aware the traffic commotion was due to terrorist bomb attacks or blasts on the London transport network.
“Had he been aware of this information, Anthony, being a fit man who played rugby, attended the gym daily and maintained a healthy lifestyle, would not have boarded that bus, or any bus for that matter, but would have continued his journey on foot to his office, which was less than a mile away, or, rather, to a place of safety.”
She explained how she travelled to London from Nigeria when she could not trace her son and spent five anxious days searching for him, before police confirmed he was among the dead.
Since his death his family have created the Anthony Fatayi-Williams Trust in Nigeria, which promotes peaceful resolutions to conflicts and helps educate children.
Mrs Fatayi-Williams added: “You may ask who was my Anthony, and I will say to you my Anthony was a selfless and dedicated young man who stood for everything that was for peace.
“He had a big heart that broke the barriers of race, colour or creed. He cared and loved much, was selfless and respectful. He loved and was responsible for his two young sisters, one of whom has special needs.
“He was very diligent, forthright and dedicated to any cause he believed in. He lived for humanity and radiated joy and peace from childhood to adulthood.”
She added his death has left a “vacuum” in his family's life.
The elder sister of another victim, Hendon resident Neetu Jain, described her as a “beautiful, loving person”.
The 38-year-old, born in New Delhi, attended Hendon School, and was on her way to her job as a computer analyst for TXT4 in Hoxton Square when she was caught in the bomb.
A statement read out from her sister Reetu Jain said: “When I started a family, she always brought my children such joy. I will never forget their laughter when she was with them and the little games she played on their backs.
“She had so much to look forward to in the future. Every day I think of all the times we shared. I remember her smile and our daily chats. Neetu is missed so dearly and we cherish her memories which live on in us all."
Miriam Hyman, 32, a former Brookland and Copthall School pupil, was travelling to work as a picture researcher for a publishing house, but was forced to take the bus after the earlier bombings.
Addressing the hearing her sister Esther described her as a “force for good”.
She said: “As Miriam's immediate family, we miss her close companionship, a trusted confidante, she brought great joy and laughter into our lives by finding life funny in innumerable small ways.
“Miriam attracted friends like a magnet and she kept them too. Many of her friendships endured from infant school.
“She constantly widened her circles of friends while keeping her old ones. Her unfailing warmth, hospitality, unquenchable interest in the lives of family and friends, her sincerity and her generosity made people seek her out.”
She was described as a good artist and had been planning to open a hand-made greetings card company.
Since her death her family have opened an eye clinic in India in her name and started a partnership with Copthall School to develop an electronic resource to promote citizenship using her story.