Restaurant-goers and staff at Borough Market’s many night spots were praised for their bravery during last weekend’s terror attack in which eight people were killed and at least 48 injured. Nurses dining at the Hart brother’s new Mexican restaurant in London Bridge, El Pastór, came to the aid of a woman who had been stabbed, while other patrons and staff threw chairs and bottles at the terrorists to bar their way into the taqueria in Stoney Street.
Sadly Alexandre Pigeard, a French waiter from nearby Boro Bistro, and fellow Frenchman Sebastien Belanger, a chef from D&D London’s City restaurant, Coq d’Argent, were among those who died in the attack.
Staff working at Borough Market’s Fish! restaurant are understood to have helped hide members of the public in its kitchens, while the London Hilton Tower Bridge ushered people into its lobby for the night.
Fish’s chef told the BBC: “I saw two guys with big knives downstairs outside Roast. They were stabbing people. The police were running away, they were community police. 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. Police came and shot straight away.”
Another staff member from Fish said: “I saw two people in Breadhead bakery, they had blood on them, they were civilians. I never expected to see this happen here.”
Witnesses also said they saw two men stabbing people outside Roast restaurant in Borough Market, according to The Guardian. A waiter from Roast told the paper that they sheltered several very shellshocked people fleeing the scene. He praised the restaurant’s chef who helped keep everyone calm and safe.
The rampage began when a van ploughed into pedestrians near the Barrowboy & Banker pub on London Bridge just after 10 pm on 3 June. The terrorists fled the van on foot into nearby Borough Market and began attacking passers-by and customers at the market’s restaurants and bars. Witnesses reported seeing attackers stabbing people along Stoney Street near the restaurants Brindisa, El Pastór, Roast and Black & Blue. All three were shot dead by police within eight minutes of the incident being reported.
Spaniard Ignacio Echeverria, 39 – an HSBC banker – died trying to defend a woman who was being stabbed by the attackers. Australian nurse, Kirsty Boden, was killed when she ran to help people struck by the attackers’ van on London Bridge.
Fellow Australian Sara Zelenak, 21, was among the victims. She was working as an au pair in London, looking after two young boys. Canadian Chrissy Archibald died in the arms of her fiancé, Tyler Ferguson, on London Bridge.
James McMullan, from Hackney, was killed outside the Barrowboy & Banker pub. And the body of Xavier Thomas, another French national, was discovered in the River Thames on Tuesday evening.
Twelve people were arrested in Barking, east London, on Sunday but released without charge.
Londoners were praised by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, who paid tribute to the “innocent people who died while out enjoying a Saturday night in our capital.”
This is the third terrorist attack on British soil in three months. The mood in London is understandably tense with a large police presence in many areas of the city. However some Londoners remain defiant. Watch this inspiring interview with Richard Angell who was dining at Arabica on Saturday night. He returned on Sunday to pay his bill and tip the staff, saying that this would make him go out and enjoy the great city that is London more, not less.