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7/7 10th anniversary: Ipswich dancer Bruce Lait feels blessed to have survived

PUBLISHED: 06:00 07 July 2015

Bruce Lait with his wife Ildiko, daughter Izabell and son Benjamin

Bruce Lait with his wife Ildiko, daughter Izabell and son Benjamin

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Ten years ago today Ipswich dancers Bruce Lait and Crystal Main escaped with their lives after 7/7 suicide bomber Shehzad Tanweer detonated his device at Aldgate.

Queen Elizabeth II meets Bruce Lait in hospital the day after the Aldgate bombing. Photo: WPA Rota/Fiona HansonQueen Elizabeth II meets Bruce Lait in hospital the day after the Aldgate bombing. Photo: WPA Rota/Fiona Hanson

This morning as London falls silent to in memory of the 52 people killed by the four terrorist attacks on July 7, 2005, Mr Lait said he feels blessed to have survived.

Now aged 42, he and Miss Main were sitting in the second carriage of a Circle Line tube train on feet from where Tanweer was standing.

The blast left seven passengers dead and more than 170 injured, including Mr Lait and Miss Main.

Mr Lait, who lives in Hadleigh, said: “It is something that has made me the person I am today. I’m a stronger person because of it.

“It makes you value life a lot more because I have got a family now. I have children now and I’m more of a family man.

“I feel privileged to still be here and feel very honoured to have the life I have got and the family I have got.

“For a long time I was getting flashbacks every now and again I would go to sleep and would wake up and think I was there again, but that subsided.

“Initially my way of dealing with it was to talk to people. I have done all that now and don’t talk to people now.

“It’s history. This is the first time I have spoken to anyone about it.

“I am still half deaf in one ear. That’s the only physical damage I have left from what happened.”

Mr Lait married his wife Ildiko in 2009 and the couple have two children Izabell, seven, and Benjamin, three.

“I met my wife because of what happened. After the incident me and Crystal decided we didn’t really want to go back to competing and decided to do a show called Simply Ballroom.

“While doing rehearsals in Blackpool there was another show called Boogie Nights and my wife was a gymnast in the show. I went to watch it and the wardrobe lady was also the wardrobe lady for our show. She called in someone to help one day and that assistant was my now wife.”

Nowadays instead of focusing on competing and becoming a dance champion, Mr Lait teaches and coaches at the Lait Dance club in Ipswich, and Cambridge University.

“Life is drastically different. Before I was a competitive dancer travelling around the world, practising seven nights a week trying to be a world champion. The focus of my life now is providing for my family and being the best coach I can be.”

Shortly after the bombing Mr Lait, then of Sproughton Road, Ipswich, told he how he was lucky to survive.

He said: “I just remember looking at a newspaper and then, all of a sudden, blackness.”

Mr Lait recalled there was an extremely loud sound, almost like a generator being switched on but many times louder.

He said: “That knocked me out cold. I was physically aware I was lying back. I remember thinking I could have been dead.”

After the emergency services got him out of the tunnel he and Miss Main were taken to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Mr Lait sustained a perforated left eardrum and cuts to his face.

His was one of the enduring images of the aftermath of the bombing when The Queen was photographed visiting him in hospital.


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