CORKONIANS living in London have described an overwhelming sense of fear and nervousness on the streets after yet another terror attack rocked the city at the weekend.
A white rental van mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge in an attack chillingly similar to the one which unfolded on Westminster Bridge earlier this year.
The van crashed at the busy Borough Market where the three occupants, armed with knives and wearing fake suicide vests, exited the vehicle and began stabbing members of the public.
The three men, wearing fake suicide bomb vests, were shot dead by eight officers outside a pub after police opened fire with an "unprecedented" hail of 50 bullets.
So far seven people have been confirmed dead, and 48 injured. At least 21 of these are in critical condition.
Ruairi Casey, from Kanturk, was a minute’s walk from the area when the horror unfolded. Thankfully, the Cork man said he was in an apartment when the killing began and stayed safely indoors with his girlfriend after he heard what had happened.
“It was quite surreal to know it was happening that close. We had a look outside and saw about ten ambulances heading up towards London Bridge… I had actually eaten lunch in the Borough Market that day,” he said.
“The stations and the immediate area are obviously closed for the moment, but everything else is going on as normal. I think people know there’s nothing they can really do… it’s impossible to avoid areas like London Bridge and Westminster, but people are still nervous.”
Meanwhile, Charleville woman Ruth Saint had plans to meet her two sisters on London Bridge around the time of the attack on Saturday night, and walk to Borough Market for dinner.
“London Bridge is where we usually meet up. From there we head to Borough to the Black and Blue restaurant for food and wine. We were going to do that on Saturday night, but one of my friends was going for a drink in Greenwich so I went there instead and so my sisters also changed their plans,” she explained.
“I know if I hadn’t changed my mind we would have been in Borough… I’m heartbroken that this has happened. London has been very good to us.” Former Evening Echo reporter, and Carrigaline woman, Liz Dunphy was also in London when the attack unfolded.
“I was leaving a music festival in east London when the news came through on my phone. Friends from Cork were visiting for a hen party and we had planned to go to a club but we all went home together instead as it was still unclear exactly what was happening,” she said.
“Borough Market is a really vibrant, beautiful, happy place. It’s so sad and unsettling that people would bring death and mayhem there.”