Security guard re-lives moment Liverpool bomb hero stumbled from taxi
Reliving the horror of the Remembrance Day bomb blast, security guard Darren Knowles reflected on the moments he grabbed hero taxi driver David Perry to get him to safety. In an exclusive interview with the Mirror , he spoke of how cabbie David stumbled from his taxi with blood pouring from his ear and neck. Security guard Darren Knowles had raced to help him, after terrorist Emad Al Swealmeen set off his bomb on Sunday, November 14.
The cabbie who survived the Liverpool bomb attack then told rescuers: “Someone has blown me up.” READ MORE:Liverpool terrorist could have used ‘Mother of Satan’ device similar to one used in Manchester Arena bombing Darren, 50, had desperately tried to find out if there was anyone else who could be saved after the taxi exploded outside a Liverpool hospital.
Emergency services were called to the hospital, on Crown Street, shortly before 11am to reports of a car engulfed in flames. Speaking to the Mirror, told how the driver had stumbled from his taxi ‘disorientated and confused’ screaming “I just want my wife.”
Hero taxi driver David Perry (Image: Liverpool ECHO)
He added: “I just grabbed him and tried to get him to safety.” “David was just so disorientated and confused.
“He was trying to tell us, ‘There is a passenger, there is a passenger’. “I was trying to say to him, ‘Is he still in there’, and he was saying, ‘He has tried to blow me up, he has tried to blow me up’.”
David, 45, got out of the burning car seconds after Iraqi-born terrorist Emad Al Swealmeen, 32, who adopted the name Enzo Almeni after converting to Christianity, had set off his home-made device. Darren was on duty at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital when the bomber struck at 10.59am on Sunday and was standing by his own car, parked yards from the main entrance.
He said: “It all happened in a flash. I was just pumping my tyre up on my car. I saw the taxi pull up as they do.
“I heard a loud bang and thought it was mechanical failure in the taxi. I thought the engine had caught fire.”
Darren said blood was pumping out of David’s left ear and from a shrapnel injury in the back of his neck. He said: “I grabbed him and tried to get him to safety as quickly as possible because I had a feeling something else was going to go off.
Darren grabbed taxi driver David Perry and pulled him to safety (Image: Rowan Griffiths / Daily Mirror)
“My first priority was stopping the taxi driver going back to the car, because he had his phone and other things in it and he wanted to get them out.
I took him to the nearest nurse to get medical attention.
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Get the latest updates from across Greater Manchester direct to your inbox with the free MEN newsletter You can sign up very simply by following the instructions here “I did not think about myself I was thinking of getting the taxi driver to safety before anything else went up.
“He was screaming, panicking. We were just saying, ‘Calm down, let’s just see to you’. “I handed him over to a nurse.
He went into the staff entrance and sat down there and that was the last I saw of him.”
Darren, who works as an agency security guard, said: “He was just in a state of shock. God bless the guy. I wish him a speedy recovery.”
Darren, who lives with his partner and two of their three children, said: “Everyone is calling me a hero but I was just doing my job.”
He said he immediately thought the explosion was a terror attack, but “couldn’t say the words because we did not want to scare people”. He said he was “quite calm” at first but 30 minutes later the reality of what had happened hit. He said: “My hands were shaking when I realised how close I was to being blown up.
But you don’t think, you just do.”
Car on fire outside the Liverpool Women’s Hospital (Image: Liverpool Echo)
Despite the blast, he carried on his shift on Sunday, finishing at midnight and was back in work the following morning for a shift at another site. And he was due back at the hospital last night for a night shift. He said: “At the end of the day I prefer to be busy than just dwelling on things.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Darren and three other men who tried to help, Liam Spencer, Richie Kawar and Will Cowan. A friend of dad-of-two Mr Kawar, who turned a fire extinguisher on the taxi, said: “A member of the public shouted, ‘There’s someone in the back of the taxi’. Rich thought because it was outside the women’s hospital, it must be a pregnant woman or a child.
Police carry out a fingertip search at the hospital after the blast (Image: Getty Images)
“He said it was too hot to get close and he could hear pops and bangs but still used an extinguisher to try to put it out.”
Caroline Hewitt, who set up the fundraising page, wrote: “These men Darren Knowles, Liam Spencer, Richie Kawar and Will Cowan, all risked their lives on Sunday. “I have set up a gofundme page to raise money to be shared out among all four to give them for their bravery.” Police removed the burnt out Ford Focus taxi today.
A source said: “There was nothing left of the car. The hospital was even damaged. They found quite serious damage, windows missing, windows cracked.”