7/7 victim's family waited four days for death confirmation

Two armed police officers outside the Houses of Parliament on the day after the 7/7 bombings

Two armed police officers outside the Houses of Parliament on the day after the 7/7 bombings

The family of Miriam Hyman, who died in the 7/7 terror attack, was forced to wait four days to be officially told of her death, even though identification documents were found on her body.

In the High Court this week, lawyers acting for the Hyman family and that of Israeli Anat Rosenberg, who was also killed by the Tavistock Square bus bomb in July 2005, urged the coroner to resume the inquests and investigate whether the security services failed to act upon information known about the bombers before the attack.

Two of the bombers, Mohammed Siddique Khan and Shazad Tanweer, had become known to MI5 during investigations into another plot, but those leads were not followed up, the families' solicitor David Sonn said.

The hearing heard that many families had suffered long delays in being informed of the deaths. One had to wait 11 days.

Counsel Janine Sheff told the court that relatives of Ms Hyman, a 32-year-old picture researcher from Hampstead Garden Suburb, had to wait "four agonising days" to be told she was among the 52 victims.

Ms Sheff said: "She was found with her bag strapped to her, with numerous documents with her ID on her."

She added that the parents of Ms Hyman were unable to travel to London and search hospitals, instead relying on her friends, who were told the police had no information.

Ms Sheff said: "So troubled were they from the lack of information from the police - who said they had to live with that lack of knowledge - that they sought a [bomb] survivor to help them understand what happened."

Ms Hyman's mother, Mavis, said: "Those four days of no news were unquestionably the most horrendous of my life. Nobody had any suggestion as to what had happened. Her family and friends couldn't just sit still and we spoke to the media and survivors to try to get any information we could.

"The police were not helpful and gave us little information. We would have appreciated knowing about the identification found."

John Falding was on the phone to partner Anat Rosenberg, 39, when he heard screams and the line went dead. But he and her family were not told of her death until seven days later.

"I knew right away what had happened," he said. "But the police took a week to go through the whole process of assessing her DNA.

"It's been a very unsatisfactory process and I'm annoyed that it has taken so long for these questions to be asked."

Last updated: 3:18pm, April 29 2010