Sunday 30 April 2017

'I missed being a victim of the terror attack by a matter of seconds,' says Irish solicitor

Emergency personnel on Westminster Bridge following yesterday's attack. Photo: PA
Emergency personnel on Westminster Bridge following yesterday's attack. Photo: PA
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

An Irish solicitor has revealed he missed being on Westminster Bridge for the lone wolf terror attack by only a matter of seconds.

The decision by solicitor Michael T Kingston to go to the bathroom after a meeting in nearby government offices meant he wasn't on the bridge when the terrorist drove a rented Hyundai SUV randomly at pedestrians.

"It happened on the side that I would have been on had I not been delayed by two or three minutes at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) by deciding to go to the toilet," Mr Kingston said.

Mr Kingston also spoke to a woman about a faulty chair which delayed him further.

Read more: 'I missed it by 30 seconds' - Irish man walked into parliament moments ahead of attacker

This all meant that by the time he reached Westminster, he witnessed the immediate aftermath of the attack.

London-based Irish solicitor Michael T Kingston
London-based Irish solicitor Michael T Kingston

Mr Kington, who is originally from Goleen in west Cork, is a London-based maritime solicitor. He also serves as a director of the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith.

"I was at a meeting in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in King Charles Street," he told RedFM.

"When I got down there [Westminster], all hell was breaking loose. There was a car mounted on the kerb on the far side and people were running from it.

"I stayed on the north side railing of the bridge and the next thing I heard were shots. I could see police scrambling. I realised at that point that it was a terrorist attack. I could see bodies on the ground and the police were shouting: 'He is down there.' I decided to take evasive action.

"I was standing there wondering in which direction I could go. There were no paramedics there at that point.

"There were just ordinary people trying to help - tending to people lying dying in the street."

Mr Kingston said that but for being delayed at the FCO building, he would have been in the direct path of the terrorist.

"I would have been on the bridge," he said.

"As I walked, I could see body after body - I didn't know if they had been shot by the terrorist.

"It was only later that I realised they had been mowed down."

Irish Independent

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