News, Culture & Society

Witnesses of London Bridge terror knife attack share panic

City workers and tourists have told of their panic as terror returned to a crowded London Bridge for the second time in two years today.   

Armed police shot dead a knifeman wearing a fake suicide vest on London Bridge in a shocking terrorist attack that has left up to five people injured as frightened crowds fled the scene. 

Many have described how they were told to leave the area by police, heard shots and saw people running for their lives as panicked Londoners fled Borough Market in a ‘stampede’ after gunshots were heard.

Horrified witnesses saw an injured woman with ‘blood on her face and neck’ being carried from the scene by police. 

People running away from Borough Market in London after police told them to leave the area 

People running away from Borough Market in London after police tell to them to leave the area

People running away from Borough Market in London after police tell to them to leave the area

People are evacuated from London Bridge in the capital this afternoon after a police incident

People are evacuated from London Bridge in the capital this afternoon after a police incident

Members of the public are held behind a police cordon near London Bridge train station today

Members of the public are held behind a police cordon near London Bridge train station today

Clive Janes, 58 said his colleague told him: ‘There was blood on her face and neck. There were six ordinary police officers carrying her and three armed policemen walking backwards with their guns still pointing at the bridge.’

He added: ‘They still must have thought that there was danger apparent at that stage.’

Nurse Jackie Benfield, 32, described how she asked to be let off a bus on London Bridge after she heard ‘five or six’ gunshots.

People flee the scene as emergency services respond to a shooting incident on London Bridge

People flee the scene as emergency services respond to a shooting incident on London Bridge

Members of the public run away from the scene near Borough Market after shots were fired

Members of the public run away from the scene near Borough Market after shots were fired 

People evacuate the area around London Bridge after a man was shot by officers on London Bridge this afternoon

People evacuate the area around London Bridge after a man was shot by officers on London Bridge this afternoon

Ms Benfield, who was on her way home from work, said she exited the bus and ‘ran like hell’ to escape the shots.

Connor Allen, who was in his van on the bridge when it was evacuated said: ‘Everyone just started running, you heard these pops and that was it. We just got out the van and started running.’

One business owner said she had been crossing London Bridge to get to her shop on the north side when police officers stopped her.

She said that was when she heard at least five or six gunshots and said that her store has been evacuated.

Members of the public are held behind a police cordon near London Bridge train station today

Members of the public are held behind a police cordon near London Bridge train station today

People fleeing from Borough Market in London following a police incident this afternoon

People fleeing from Borough Market in London following a police incident this afternoon

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, added: ‘I was approaching London Bridge and a policeman would not let me through.

‘We heard shooting, it was about five or six shots, I heard five or six quite clearly.

Did you witness events at London Bridge this afternoon?

Did you witness events at London Bridge this afternoon? Email amelia.wynne@mailonline.co.uk or call 02036150247

‘All my staff have been evacuated.’ 

Marco Piotto, 23, who works in Brendiza cafe in Boroughs Market said: ‘People we’re running and screaming through the market, it was horrible.’

Patrick Pearce, 23, a contractor in the Shard, said: ‘We heard the shots, it was really loud. And then the whole building was on lock-down. It took me two hours to get out.’

Mike King, a parish councillor at St Magnus-the-Martyr, a church near London Bridge, told BBC News that members of the public were directed into the church by police.

He said: ‘They were directed inside by police outside, directing people to go into the buildings nearby, as you know there are a number of offices near to us.

‘So everybody has been ushered into offices and buildings close by, we’ve had a number of people come in to see us.’

A police officer moves an uninvolved person away from a cordon after the incident today

A police officer moves an uninvolved person away from a cordon after the incident today

Police on Cannon Street in London near the scene of the incident on London Bridge in the capital today

Police on Cannon Street in London near the scene of the incident on London Bridge in the capital today

The eyewitness video appears to show a man on the pavement of the north-bound carriageway on the western side today

The eyewitness video appears to show a man on the pavement of the north-bound carriageway on the western side today

Video filmed at the scene shows at least four people struggling with a man on London Bridge this afternoon

Members of the public walk flee from the scene near Borough Market after a number of people are believed to have been injured after a stabbing at London Bridge

Members of the public walk flee from the scene near Borough Market after a number of people are believed to have been injured after a stabbing at London Bridge

Woman runs from cordon after a man was shot by officers on London Bridge this afternoon who was believed to be brandishing a knife

Woman runs from cordon after a man was shot by officers on London Bridge this afternoon who was believed to be brandishing a knife

He added: ‘We heard a noise that I thought was firecrackers going off earlier on.’

A witness who works in a stall in Borough Market, said it looked like a minor incident at first.

Laurence Verfaillie said: ‘I thought it was a car crash, it looked like it was pretty minor.

‘Suddenly a trader told me the ice cream seller on the bridge has run away yelling there has been an incident.

‘Another trader said police were looking for someone.

‘Suddenly people were taking refuge in our shop before we got told to leave.

‘We still think about what happened last time.’

Kelby McNally, works in the Northern and Shell Building on Lower Thames Street near to London Bridge.

She said: ‘I was coming out of Pret on Eastcheap and there were loads of people just running, I thought it was a fire alarm or something, and then I saw two girls from my office who told me not to go back there.

‘I asked what had happened, and they said they had heard gunshots and now everyone is running.

‘City of London police officers and paramedics told us, ‘You need to go that way, do not go near London Bridge, run that way’.

People leave the area near Borough Market after an incident at London Bridge

People leave the area near Borough Market after an incident at London Bridge

Police direct people away from the area after the incident at London Bridge today

Police direct people away from the area after the incident at London Bridge today

People stand on a street as police cleared the area near Borough Market after an incident at London Bridge

People stand on a street as police cleared the area near Borough Market after an incident at London Bridge

A Metropolitan Police Armed Response officer escorts members of the public away from the scene Borough Market

A Metropolitan Police Armed Response officer escorts members of the public away from the scene Borough Market

‘Everyone was running, so then we came to where the Sky Garden building is and the security guards let everyone in. 

We’re sat in the foyer of this building, and everyone is running outside. Now everyone is being let out of this building but they’re saying you cannot walk back towards London Bridge, go towards Liverpool Street.’

Pub-goers were also told by police to leave immediately and run as gunshots were heard in the London Bridge area.

Luke Redman, 25, was in the Monument pub with a full pint when officers entered.

Mr Redman, a data scientist said he heard ’12 or 15 (gunshots) in about 10 seconds,’ as he left the pub and ran down an alleyway to escape.

Witness Amanda Hunter, who was on a bus across the bridge when she heard shots fired, told BBC News: ‘The bus all of a sudden stopped and there was commotion and looked out the window and I just saw these three police officers going over to a man.

‘It seemed like there was something in his hand, I’m not 100% sure, but then one of the police officers shot him.

‘We were stopped on a bus for only a minute or a minute-and-a-half, and then we were able to safely get off the bridge.’

Pub-goers were also told by police to leave immediately and run as gunshots were heard in the London Bridge area

Pub-goers were also told by police to leave immediately and run as gunshots were heard in the London Bridge area

Met Police officers are understood to have the buildings next to the scene on lockdown

Met Police officers are understood to have the buildings next to the scene on lockdown

Workers inside another office block overlooking London Bridge have been told to stay inside.

Met Police officers are understood to have the buildings next to the scene on lockdown.

Staff from all companies based at One London Bridge, the closest building to the incident, have been told to stay put, according to spokesperson for a firm based there.

A spokesperson for Howard Kennedy, a law firm based at One London Bridge, said: ‘The building has been shut down.

‘Met Police officers have told our staff to stay inside the building.

She added: ‘I understand it is the same situation for all of the companies based in the building.’

Dean Toomey, the manager of hardware store Leyland SDM, encouraged bystanders to shelter in his shop, placing a hammer by the entrance in case an attacker entered. 

Dale Koburn, a Canadian tourist who only arrived in London yesterday, said: ‘Someone said run, so we started running.

‘We just left the building and got out of there. Police were pushing people out of the market.

‘It was scary, more so because we didn’t know what was going on. But, you know, we know that things happen.

‘We could hear the helicopters before we were even in the market.

‘I thought I heard a ‘pop pop’ – but I figured it could have been bottles breaking or something.’

  • Did you witness events at London Bridge this afternoon? Email amelia.wynne@mailonline.co.uk or call 02036150247

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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