Inquest reveals final moments of three London Bridge victims
A white van ploughed into people on the bridge before three killers carried out a frenzied knife attack in Borough Market.
The final moments of pedestrians mown down by terrorists in the London Bridge attack have been revealed at the inquests into their deaths.
A white van ploughed into people on the bridge before three killers carried out a frenzied knife attack in Borough Market, leaving eight dead and dozens injured.
Christine Archibald, 30, Xavier Thomas, 45, and Alexandre Pigeard, 26, died in the attack on June 3, Southwark Coroner’s Court was told.
Senior coroner Andrew Harris opened and adjourned inquests on Wednesday for the three victims. He thanked the police for their work in “difficult and distressing circumstances” and offered his condolences to the families for their “sudden and shocking loss”.
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Moring said: “A white van travelled south on London Bridge. That van would seem to have been deliberately targeting pedestrians as it travelled towards Borough Market. The occupants of that van are known to have alighted and were stabbing members of the public.”
Canadian Ms Archibald, who lived in The Hague, Holland, died in her fiance Tyler Ferguson’s arms after being struck by the van on London Bridge. The social worker was killed by multiple, severe blunt crush injuries, the inquest was told.
French national Mr Thomas’s body was recovered from the river near Limehouse in east London, downstream of London Bridge, three days after the attack. He was visiting London for the weekend with his girlfriend, Christine Delcros, who was struck and seriously injured in the attack.
He was last seen by her on the bridge and police are still investigating how he ended up in the water.
Mr Moring said: “We had accounts from his girlfriend that he was on the bridge with her and subsequently he was missing. Police were concerned he had gone over the bridge and into the Thames. The circumstances are being investigated as to how he has gone into the Thames.”
Mr Thomas, a business events and travel manager living in Paris, was identified by his dental records and his cause of death was given as immersion.
Fellow Frenchman Mr Pigeard was knifed moments later in the nearby Boro Bistro, where he worked as a waiter. He was found in the shadow of Southwark Cathedral, on Montague Close, with stab wounds to his neck and chest.
Mr Pigeard was born in Paris, had been in London for around two years and lived in Southwark. His cause of death was given as a haemorrhage caused by knife wounds.
Armed police killed ringleader Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, just eight minutes after the first emergency call was made.
A hearing took place on Tuesday into the deaths of Sara Zelenak, 21, Kirsty Boden, 28, Sebastien Belanger, 36, James McMullan, 32, and Ignacio Echeverria, 39. A grim account of their injuries was read out, detailing where they had been found and how they were identified.
The inquest proceedings were suspended by Dr Harris so the vast police operation was not hampered by his investigation.