David Thorpe Photography

Professional Pix

Pictures for Money

I was sitting in the office on the morning of February 28th 1975 and picture editor Alan Reed told me he had a call that there had been a crash at Moorgate tube station. These calls were received occasionally and usually were a minor incident.

But when I got to Moorgate, this was plainly different. I couldn't get down to the platform for clouds of dust and smoke billowing around. I heard noises and people staggering through the smoke. Ambulances started to arrive. Damaged and blackened people were all around. I took what pictures I could and went to the nearest phone. I told the office I was coming back, that the incident was very serious and that they should get everyone they could to the scene. It's very hard, when you are covering a major incident and first on the scene, to walk away from it.

But one of the disciplines of an Evening Paper is the deadlines. Miss a deadline and you may as well not have taken the picture.

It took four days to get the driver's body from the wreckage, such was the damage and 43 people were killed and 70 injured, some of whom subsequently died from their injuries. One difference fromn today was that the moment the emergency services arrived, they were donning breathing gear and racing into the tunnel to get people out.