London attack: Witness Accounts

The terror attack which adversely affected London Bridge and surrounding areas on Saturday has drawn together the community with accounts of the ill-fated evening and solidarity for victims.

Police cordon around London Bridge Area. Credit – Cathy Wang

Police cordon around Southwark Bridge. Credit – Ryan Chang

In total, the lives of seven people are said to have been claimed after the act of terrorism. BBC reports have since confirmed that twenty-one out of the original forty-eight patients are still in critical care after yesterday evening’s shocking events.

Southwark Bridge. Credit – Ryan Chang

Many of those affected had been enjoying the late Saturday evening in the heavily populated areas of London Bridge and Borough Market in pubs and restaurants.

King’s students from all campuses were out in the London Bridge area during the evening. However, it is yet to be known whether King’s students were adversely affected after the attack was brought to a close in eight minutes.

Roar spoke to postgraduate students Benjamin Simpson and Tudor Zugravu, who live in Orchard Lisle and Iris Brook on the nearby Guy’s Campus.

Tudor Zugravu, PG Software Engineering (left) & Benjamin Simpson, PG IR (right). Credit – Cathy Wang

“We thought at first it was nothing interesting,” they informed Roar, “The police were there and we thought that maybe someone was too drunk. Then suddenly, there were gunshots…they didn’t sound like pistols. It was automatic ratatattat. We thought it was the train at first, but no. It was gunfire.”

Benjamin and Tudor also described the aftermath of the attack, which was ended by police in eight minutes. Due to the location of student accommodation, students relied upon the sounds of gunshots and commotion as signals to what was going on. However, there were some who gained a visual.

“Two of our friends set off to a party and after five minutes they sprinted back and said, ‘Get inside, there are gunshots’,” the pair said, “Immediately six policemen came running up to us and told us to run indoors and get inside… We couldn’t have got any closer without being directly involved.”

Paul Fidrat, a postgraduate Risk Analysis student who was also in the area at the time of the attack said:

Paul Fidrat, PG Risk Analysis. Credit – Cathy Wang

“I went with two friends to Tesco to buy some alcohol. We saw one or two police cars… in the back of my mind I was thinking ‘It could be a terrorist attack’, but then you think ‘no, it can never happen to you’. When I exited the shop, the gunshots rang out – three, four of them. Then a woman entered the shop, crying and screaming that she saw people being stabbed. I was a bit drunk already – we’d been to a pub earlier to watch the Champions League and I was planning to take a bus over London Bridge to go to a club in Shoreditch. It could have been anyone here. But then, I guess, that was the plan. A stabbing at 10pm on Saturday night to get drunk people who were going out and partying. I didn’t see people injured, I didn’t see the van. I was just focussed on not being here anymore. Just escaping.”

In the aftermath of the attack, the College was quick to reassure students, despite campuses being placed on lockdown.

Principal Ed Byrne released a College-wide statement announcing that “enhanced security precautions” were being put in place across all King’s campuses for “student safety” until further notice. He additionally praised “the bravery of the emergency services whose prompt action undoubtedly saved many lives”.

Police cordon back of Orchard Lisle accommodation. Credit – Cathy Wang

Multiple police vehicles lined up Union Street . Credit – Cathy Wang

 

A Central London vigil has additionally been arranged for 6pm in Trafalgar Square on June 5th.

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If any of your family and friends are in the London area, please check-in to make sure they are safe. 

If any King’s students have eyewitness accounts of the incident and would like to share them, please message us directly on Facebook.

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