‘It was a rampage’: witnesses describe horror of London terrorist attacks

Reports of people fighting off attackers with bottles and chairs during terror incidents in London Bridge and Borough Market

People walk from inside a police cordon after an attack in the Borough Market area of London. Photograph: Matt Dunham

Witnesses of the London Bridge and Borough Market attacks have told of the horrific events that unfolded shortly after 10pm on a busy Saturday night.

Many were out for the evening in the capital for dinner or drinks as well as watching the Champion League Final in bars.

Bethany Atkin, who works for the Guardian, was at Boro Bistro at small restaurant which sits under a small bridge on Borough High Street.

“We were sitting outside under umbrellas underneath the bridge and there was a shower of rubble that landed on the umbrellas, a van had crashed into the bridge.

“We stood up, everyone was moving, I saw a man who was bleeding. I don’t know how he was injured. We ran into the restaurant and tried to find a safe place but there wasn’t one.

Running back outside, Atkin saw another casualty.

“We saw a woman with blood, about 20 metres from the bridge. I saw her lying down on the floor.”

Atkin ran into London Bridge hospital to shelter but there was another commotion on the street.

“A man was shouting and then everyone started screaming and running away from the man. It was very sinister.”

At 10.08pm the police were alerted to an incident unfolding on London Bridge.

Will Heaven, a Spectator journalist was passing the bridge. He told Sky News: “It was about 10 past 10. I was in the back of an Uber cab driving south over London Bridge.

“Suddenly on the left-hand side, on the bridge there was somebody down on the pavement with a small crowd around them, clearly concerned. I thought someone had collapsed. We drove a little further over the bridge. There was another person in the road itself. The penny dropped that something quite serious was happening.

“The traffic came to a standstill. The Uber driver said something bad is happening here. We could hear sirens coming.”

“A driver of a black cab said there has been a terrorist attack. They saw there were numerous people in the road. A second cab driver said there has been a series of stabbings.”

‘A lot of blood and bodies’

A 25-year-old man, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Guardian he was driving across the bridge when he saw a man and a pregnant woman unconscious on the road.

“We thought it was a car accident but as we got closer we could see a lot of blood and bodies. There was a pregnant woman on the right who was severely injured and on the left there was a man being resuscitated, but he started breathing. We don’t know whether the woman survived,” he said.

“We had to get out of the car and there were lots of people screaming. And then ambulances arrived.”

A witness called Mark told the BBC Radio 5 Live programme he saw a van hit a group of people on the bridge.

“It knocked a person about 20ft in the air,” he said. “Within my line of sight there must have been about five or six people on the ground. They looked either dead or dying.”

Police boats were searching the river – apparently looking for people who may have been thrown off the bridge.

In pubs and bars around London Bridge, the gravity of the situation was dawning.

Alex Shellum told Fairfax Media that he was at the Mudlark pub underneath London Bridge at about 10pm when a woman entered bleeding from the neck.

“At around 10:00pm an injured woman came into the pub seeking assistance. It appeared that her throat had been cut.”

“I could see on my left a further individual was having CPR performed on them by the emergency services.”

Another witness in the Mudlark, 54-year-old Jeff Whitsey, told reporters the woman, aged in her 20s, staggered into the pub, aided by her friends. She was clearly seriously injured.

“It was a very deep cut. There was blood everywhere… blood was spurting out. It was awful. Absolutely awful.”

Gerard Vowls, 47, had been watching the Champions League final at the Ship pub in Borough. He was at the start of the south side of London Bridge and saw a woman being stabbed by three men 10 or 15 times.

“She was going, ‘Help me, help me’ and I couldn’t do nothing,” he said. “I want to know if this girl is still alive. I’ve been walking around for an hour and a half crying my eyes out. I don’t know what to do.”

Vowls said he was throwing chairs, glasses and bottles at the attackers in a bid to stop them.

“They kept coming to try to stab me … they were stabbing everyone. Evil, evil people.”

It took at least 10 minutes for armed police to reach the scene, he added.

‘The guy with the knife was killing two people’

A few hundred metres away, panic hit Borough Market.

Men brandishing knives reportedly jumped from a van that crashed near Brindisa restaurant and began stabbing people.

“They literally just started kicking them, punching them, they took out knives. It was a rampage really,” one man told the BBC. The group of attackers headed towards Southwark Cathedral.

“A woman was staring at them, and they started stabbing her,” the witness said.

“Throughout the whole way across the bridge, there were people littered across bleeding. People were trying to help each other.”

Owen Evans, 39, was in The Wheatsheaf pub nearby on Stoney Street, with friends when shooting broke out.

“I was in the back of the pub. A wave of about 30 people ran in and tried to get into the cellar or cupboard. Then there were shots outside. They didn’t seem real – like a kid letting off firecrackers. We saw police lights and everyone got down under a table. People turned tables over.

“We waited about 10 minutes or so, with several shots every couple of minutes. Someone at the front of the pub had been shot – it’s speculation but we thought it was by accident, there were bullet holes in the windows. The people near the person called for a medic, shouting: “He’s fucking bleeding to death, we need a doctor.”

“The bar staff were amazing, I think they locked the door so no one got in.

“Then they told us to leave the pub and to run, and a policeman standing outside with a gun was shouting, ‘Go, get the fuck out.’ We ran down the street, turned left at the Market Porter, than ran down the road and away. We got to the South Bank and then waited ages for a tube, and eventually got home.”

At the El Pastor tapas restaurant also on Stoney Street, a man entered with a “foot-long” knife and started stabbing a woman.

“He saw one man who entered the restaurant with a knife a foot long and he stabbed a woman, possibly a waitress, in the restaurant,” one witness told Sky News.

People inside were throwing bottles and chairs at the man to try to stop him.

“They saw four others also armed with knives outside the restaurant in Borough Market.”

There were also reports of attackers at Roast restaurant.

A chef from Fish restaurant said: “I saw two men with big knives downstairs outside Roast.

“They were stabbing people. The police were running away, they were normal officers, they were running away.

“The guy with the knife was killing two people. We were shouting “stop, stop” and people threw chairs at them.

Video from the inside of the Wright Brothers Oyster and Porter House restaurant on Stoney Street showed staff shouting at customers to evacuate and directing them to run away from the building down the street.

Jamie, a witness who was in the Black and Blue restaurant, further down Stoney Street said he hid under the tables after hearing “a massive, massive bang”.

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Source By https://www.theguardian.com


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