Calaveras Enterprise

Murphys teen returns from London bombing scare

Kelsey Markus had no idea the July 7 transit bombings in London were as serious as later reported until she sat down for lunch that day.

But her mom in Murphys did. Explosions again struck the London Underground on Thursday and a bus at midday in a chilling, but far less bloody, repeat of the suicide bombings that killed 56 people two weeks ago.

No one was reported injured in the nearly simultaneous lunch-hour blasts last week, British Transport Police said, but they caused more serious disruption in London and were hauntingly similar to the July 7 bombings by four attackers. Panicked and screaming commuters fled the three bombed underground stations, sometimes leaving behind their shoes.

But the experience for the Murphys teenager was far less traumatic.

Kelsey, 16, returned July 12 from Britain with her Welsh friend, Cheryl Roussel, 15, whose sister lives in London. Kelsey’s and Cheryl’s families belong to an international exchange program that allowed them to visit each other’s homes this month and when the girls were younger.

“We were doing tourist stuff like seeing Big Ben and Buckingham Palace,” Kelsey said of the morning of July 7 when Cheryl, her father and Kelsey were touring the city on foot and wanted to take the underground to some of their destinations.

She said some streets were blocked and underground stations closed, but no clear signs of the bombings could be seen from where her group was in central London. When she saw roads blocked, police said it was because of a “power surge” or other reason.

“We brought sandwiches for lunch, but it was raining so we went inside a café where we heard about the bombings on the radio,” Kelsey said.

She said at first she was put out by the disruption of service, but later learned how serious it was she heard the reports of the dead and injured.

Cheryl said Londoners are somewhat used to incidents similar to the recent terror attacks because of the Irish Republican Army’s bombings during the past three decades.

Meanwhile, back in Murphys, Kelsey’s mother, Chris Markus, said she “was traumatized” when she saw the new that morning. She was unable to reach her daughter by cell phone. “I didn’t call her because it was 3 a.m.” in Murphys when the bombs exploded in London, Kelsey said.

Cheryl, who lives in a small Welsh village, plans to return home this week.

Contact Ray Estrada at

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