London Bridge attack: What happened

  • Published

Eight people were killed and many more injured when three attackers ploughed a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before launching a knife attack in nearby Borough Market.

The men were shot dead by police, who arrived at the scene of the attack within eight minutes. Here is what we know about what happened on Saturday 3 June 2017.

Van driven at pedestrians

At 21:58 BST, a van with the three attackers inside drove onto London Bridge from the north side of the river. The vehicle crossed over, before returning in the opposite direction six minutes later.

When it reached the northern end of the bridge, police said it made a U-turn and mounted the pavement. It then crossed the bridge again, ploughing into pedestrians, including three of those killed.

Xavier Thomas, walking with his girlfriend, was hit by the van, the force apparently knocking him into the river. His body was later found downstream.

BBC reporter Holly Jones, who was on the bridge at the time of the attack, said the van was "probably travelling at about 50mph".

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

Media caption,

"He looked demented": The BBC's Holly Jones was in the path of the van driver on London Bridge

Stabbings begin

After crossing the bridge, the van crashed near the Barrowboy and Banker pub. Three men got out, armed with 12in (30cm) pink ceramic knives tied to their wrists, and ran towards Borough Market, slashing and stabbing people in their path.

Image source, Met Police
Image caption,
The men attached blades to their wrists before the attack

As the attackers moved through Borough Market, people tried to fight them off by throwing crates, chairs and glasses.

Media caption,

"Run, run, run, they're stabbing everyone": The eyewitness accounts

One witness to the attack, Gerard Vowls, told the BBC: "They were running up shouting, 'This is for Allah'. They stabbed this girl maybe 10 times, 15 times."

Ambulances were called to the scene at 22:07, with police alerted at 22:08.

Police arriving on the scene evacuated the area and ensured nearby pubs were locked down to stop the men entering.

Four police officers were hurt. Two unarmed police officers were severely injured while trying to fight off the men.

Media caption,

"Get down" - police enter bar at London Bridge

Armed police arrived at 22:16 as the three men were seen attacking a man outside The Wheatsheaf pub on Stoney Street .

They shot and killed all three attackers, who were wearing what turned out to be fake bomb vests.

CCTV later emerged showing armed police shooting the trio.

The deputy chairwoman of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, Sarah Green, confirmed that 46 shots had been fired by eight police officers - three officers from City of London Police and five from the Metropolitan Police.

A member of the public was also shot during the operation and was taken to hospital.

London Ambulance Service took more than 100 emergency calls about the incident.

The so-called Islamic State group later said it was behind the attack.

Media caption,

Watch: How the attacks unfolded

The victims

Eight people were killed in the attack.

Image caption,
Clockwise from top left: Chrissy Archibald, Sebastien Belanger, Kirsty Boden, Ignacio Echeverria, Sara Zelenak, Xavier Thomas, Alexandre Pigeard, James McMullan

They were named as 30-year-old Canadian national Chrissy Archibald, Australian Kirsty Boden, 28, Australian Sara Zelenak, 21, James McMullan, 32, from Hackney, London, French nationals 26-year-old Alexandre Pigeard, Xavier Thomas, 45, and chef Sebastien Belanger, 36, and Spanish national Ignacio Echeverria, 39.

Forty-eight people were injured.

The attackers

Image caption,
Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba carried out the London Bridge attacks

The three attackers shot by police in Borough Market were later named:

  • Khuram Shazad Butt, 27, a British citizen born in Pakistan
  • Rachid Redouane, 30, who had claimed to be Moroccan and Libyan
  • Youssef Zaghba, 22, a Moroccan-Italian man

Butt and Redouane - who also used the name Rachid Elkhdar - lived in Barking, east London, and Zaghba was from east London.

A pre-inquest hearing at the Old Bailey in February 2018 was told all three men had steroids in their systems when they died.

Toxicology reports submitted to the court said the levels of the steroid in their systems were "above the acceptable physiological range" and that the substance had been taken "recently prior to death… in a period ranging from several hours to days".

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