The attack began with a white hire van deliberately driving into pedestrians on London Bridge at around10pm, after which three men then ran to nearby Borough Market attacking people with knives. The terrorists were seen indiscriminately attacking and stabbing people along Stoney Street near Brindisa restaurant, El Pastor tapas restaurant, the Wheatsheaf pub, Roast restaurant and Black and Blue restaurant. A witness who was on the south side of London Bridge said he saw the van on the wrong side of the road, telling BBC Radio 5Live: “It veered to the right and people were trying to run away from it.”
When it stopped, he said three people got out and he thought they were going to help the people who had been hit.
“But the three people literally started kicking them, punching them, and took out knives. It was a rampage really,” he said.
Another witness, Gerard Vowls, 47, had been watching the Champions League final at the Ship pub in Borough, and was at the start of the south side of London Bridge when he saw a woman being stabbed by three men 10 or 15 times. Speaking to the Guardian Newspaper he said “She was going, ‘Help me, help me’ and I couldn’t do nothing,” he said. “I want to know if this girl is still alive. I’ve been walking around for an hour and a half crying my eyes out. I don’t know what to do.” Vowls said he was throwing chairs, glasses and bottles at the attackers in a bid to stop them.
Witnesses told how they fled in fear or barricaded themselves into bars and restaurants, as staff at the nearby pubs & restaurants are understood to have helped hide members of the public in its kitchens, while the London Hilton Tower Bridge was reported to have accommodated dozens of people in its lobby for the night in the aftermath of the attack.
Two members of staff from the Wheatsheaf pub with injured protecting customers during the attack pub company Young’s has confirmed. Chief Executive Patrick Dardis said: “Two of our staff at the Wheatsheaf were attacked as they sought to protect our customers and colleagues, but I am relieved to say that the injuries are, thankfully, not life threatening, and both are recovering well”.
Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive, BBPA, comments:
“This was an appalling attack on innocent people as they enjoyed their Saturday night in one of the busiest parts of London. We do urge pubs to be vigilant against the threat of terrorism, and there were many heroic actions from bar and restaurant staff on Saturday.
“As more details become clear, pubs should monitor advice from the police, brief staff, and have terrorism as part of their risk assessment of the premises. There is guidance on this on our website, ‘Managing Safety in Pubs & Bars’.
“Also, given the degree to which this attack was focused on hospitality venues, we will be seeking to work with the Metropolitan police and other partners to ensure that the guidance available for pubs bars and restaurants, and our customers, is as effective as it can possibly be, in the face of these evolving threats.”
Following the attack some businesses in the area have closed, Arthur Hoopers restaurant near London bridge tweeted
— Arthur Hooper's (@arthurhoopers) June 5, 2017