Tuesday 23 January 2018

Irishman caught up in London terror saw 'body after body' mown down by attacker

Emergency services transport an injured person to an ambulance, close to the Houses of Parliament in London, Wednesday (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Emergency services transport an injured person to an ambulance, close to the Houses of Parliament in London, Wednesday (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Emergency personnel on Westminster Bridge, close to the Palace of Westminster, London, after at least two people have died after a knifeman brought terror to the heart of Westminster, mowing down pedestrians then stabbing a policeman before he was shot by armed officers. Picture: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

Alan O'Keeffe

An Irishman caught up in the London terror attack has spoken of seeing "body after body" of those mown down by the attacker's car.

Michael Kingston, from Goleen in West Cork,  spoke today of his shock after he saw victims "lying dying in the street".

The maritime lawyer, who is a director of the Irish Cultural Centre in London, said he was walking along Westminister Bridge on his way to a meeting when "all hell broke loose".

Speaking on the Neil Prendeville Show on Cork radio station Red FM, he said he arrived at traffic lights in the vicinity of the bridge when the attack happened.

"I got to the lights and all hell broke loose.

"There were cars racing around the corner and there was a car mounted on the kerb on the far side and people running from it," he said.

"The next thing I heard shots and saw police scrambling. I was closer to the car which I could see on the other side of the road and I realised at that point it was a terrorist attack.

"It was quite clear to me that it was a terrorist attack when I saw bodies on the ground that hadn't been in the vehicle and that the police were shouting 'He's down there.' I decided then to take evasive action," he said.

Police were telling people to run away from the scene but before that, he didn't know what direction he should go.

"There were no paramedics at this stage. There were just bystanders trying to tend to people basically lying dying in the street," he said.

He said he would also have been on the side of the bridge where the attack happened if he had not been delayed by two or three minutes.

"I ushered everyone back who was coming across the bridge," he said.

"As I walked, I could see body after body and I didn't know at that stage whether they had been shot by the terrorist. I later found out they had been mown down," he said.

"On the other side of the bridge, where Guy's Hospital is, paramedics started running from the hospital along the railings on the southside of the bridge to tend to the people, to help the bystanders who were doing their best," he said.

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