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Former Louisiana resident survives London train bombing
The world lives in a different time and Michelle Le Mere knows this better than anyone. Terrorists are on the list of every politician around the world and Le Mere got a glimpse of why that is the case. She was riding the subway last Thursday, July 7, when three bombs took out three trains and another took out a bus in the busy financial district of London, England.
“It was scary,” said Le Mere, an investment banker, who formerly was Michelle Lesley. Le Mere grew up in Louisiana until the third grade. Her father is Rich Lesley and she has several relatives still living in the area.
Le Mere says she was on her way to work with her husband, Mathieu, when the bombings took place. They had just stepped onto the train and were headed south from their home to the financial district on the Northern Line. After a series of train changes, Le Mere says she started noticing an unusual amount of people at Camdenton.
“It was an extremely crowded day. More so than usual,” said Le Mere.
By the time she stepped onto the fourth train, she says everybody was
told there was a series of power surges that may cause delays. They were notified that Angel and King’s Crossing, two key stops, were shut down.
“Everybody on the train was annoyed,” said Le Mere.
Slowly the train began to pass each exit without stopping. The engineer kept saying it was because of power surges, according to Le Mere. After a while, he stopped talking altogether.
“We passed the entire city,” said Le Mere.
When she did stop, they found themselves at London Bridge, the final possible stop. Le Mere says people still weren’t aware of the situation and began gathering on trains or grabbing a cab.
“There was a lot of people walking. I was in disbelief, but there was no panic or mass chaos,” said Le Mere.
When she arrived at work, Le Mere says the oddity of the situation took over. Her colleagues and fellow employees hadn’t arrived yet. She began asking about it and that’s when she learned there was a rumor of a bombing.
“People were clicking on the Internet and watching (the news) to get information,” said Le Mere.
As the reality of the situation sank in, Le Mere realized she was on the subway and had traveled through two of the bomb sites, one at King’s Bombing experience was scary, confusing
Crossing and the other near Angel.
“Basically, we’d ridden between the bombs,” said Le Mere.
Her train was heading in the opposite direction from the two that were bombed. Still, she says it made everybody more aware of their own mortality. It also created a problem for people returning home. Le Mere
says she and her husband took a taxi home, but was dropped off far from their residence.
“We still had to walk for about half an hour,” said Le Mere.
Back to work
Le Mere says the experience wasn’t too horrifying, but she and her husband had to commute by train the very next day.
“The subway was very empty,” said Le Mere.
People had chosen other forms of transportation that day, instead of chancing a repeat attack. While riding on the train that day, Le Mere says she began to do the unthinkable–devise a plan in case she was attacked on the train.
“The subway is so cramped, there is no way to bust out a side window. I started thinking I would have to walk all the way to the front or the back of the train in order to try and escape,” said Le Mere, who added many survivors had to do the same thing in order to escape.
Le Mere says she didn’t know anybody killed or wounded in the attack. A total of 52 people were killed and hundreds more injured. For a few days after the bombing there was tight security. Le Mere says it has loosened up quite a bit, but she has noticed people becoming more aware of their surroundings.
“It’s over now, but people are still talking about it,” said Le Mere.
When asked if she was surprised by the attacks, Le Mere says she was only surprised by the timing.
“I’m surprised it took so long to bomb London because of their alliance with the United States. People in London thought something would’ve happened a lot sooner,” said Le Mere.