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Brave Londoners fight back against attackers

This article is more than 12 months old

LONDON As three assailants sought to strike fear at the heart of the British capital on Saturday night, some Londoners showed incredible courage and fought back.

Taxi driver Chris was on London Bridge as the attackers smashed their van into pedestrians before sprinting, armed with knives, towards nearby bars packed with revellers.

"I saw a young girl being stabbed in the chest," he told LBC radio, recalling how the three "went randomly along Borough High Street stabbing people".

"I said to the guy in my cab I was going to try to hit him, I was going to ram him. I turned around and tried, but he sidestepped me," he added.

Mr Gerard Vowls, 47, was heading home after watching the Champions League final at the Ship Pub in Borough when he saw a woman being stabbed 10 to 15 times.

"She was going, 'Help me, help me', and I couldn't do nothing," he told the Guardian newspaper.

Distraught, he followed the attackers to Borough Market - a food market that dates back centuries and is housed in an elegant 19th-century structure - and started throwing whatever he could find at them including chairs, glasses and bottles, AFP reported.

"I know it was a silly thing to do, but I was trying to save people's lives," he said.

He said the attackers chased him after he managed to hit one of them in the back with a chair. "I knew if I slipped over, I'd be a dead man, I'd be killed there and then," he added.


Meanwhile, 21 of the 48 injured in the attack are in a critical condition, the Press Association news agency reported citing NHS England, the health authority.

Other witnesses reported seeing a man with a large blade, similar to a kitchen knife, and victims bleeding from stab wounds. They said people were fleeing the area in panic, Reuters reported.

One witness, who gave the BBC only his first name of Ben, said he saw a man dressed in red who was stabbing a man with a blade that appeared to be about 25cm long.


"He was being stabbed quite coldly, and he slumped to the ground," he said of the victim.

The attacker then walked towards Southwark Tavern where a chair was thrown towards him, shortly before gunshots rang out.

BBC reporter Holly Jones, who was on the bridge at the time of the attack, said the van was "probably travelling at about 80kmh".

"He swerved right round me and then hit about five or six people.

"He hit about two people in front of me and then three behind," Ms Jones told the BBC News Channel.

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