Saturday 16 December 2017

Australian nurse died after she 'ran towards danger'

Kirsty Boden. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Kirsty Boden. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Angela Charlton

The family of an Australian nurse who was one of the seven people killed in the London Bridge extremist attacks said she died while trying to help other victims of the van and knife rampage.

London's Metropolitan Police issued a statement from the family of 28-year-old Kirsty Boden praising her compassion and natural instinct to help.

"As she ran towards danger, in an effort to help people on the bridge, Kirsty sadly lost her life," read the statement, which went on to say that Ms Boden's actions "demonstrate how selfless, caring and heroic she was, not only on that night, but throughout all of her life."

Australian media reported that she was from Loxton in southern Australia.

Also yesterday, a talented French chef was identified as one of the dead by his grieving family, who were asked to identify his body after a long wait.

Sébastien Belanger was separated from his friends as the three terrorists slammed their truck outside the Boro Bistro.

Sara Zelenak
Sara Zelenak
Chrissy Archibald. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
James McMullan. Photo: PA
Ignacio Echeverría
Xavier Thomas
Sebastien Belanger

Mr Belanger, who worked at the Coq d'Argent restaurant in the city, was having a last drink in the Boro Bistro when they heard the attackers' van smash into a wall directly above them. His friend Robin (24) said that in the panic, he lost sight of Mr Belanger.

Police have identified Canadian Christine Archibald, a 30-year-old social worker who worked at a homeless shelter before moving to Europe to be with her fiancé, as also among the dead.

And the sister of missing 32-year-old James McMullan, who is British, said he is believed to have died in the attacks because his bank card was found on one of the bodies. Melissa McMullan said authorities would not be able to formally identify him until a coroner's report was released.

At least 48 people were injured, nearly half critically, in Saturday night's attacks. As of yesterday, friends and relatives were becoming increasingly desperate to learn the fate of others still missing.

Police said yesterday that a French man who has been missing since the night of the attack may have been thrown off London Bridge and into the River Thames by the killers' speeding vehicle.

The Metropolitan Police force appealed for information about 45-year-old Xavier Thomas, who was walking with his girlfriend over the bridge when the attack began on Saturday night. Mr Thomas's girlfriend was struck and seriously injured by the van.

The force said witness accounts suggest he might have been thrown into the river. Boats from the police marine unit and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution have been searching the river.

Another Australian woman, 21-year-old Sara Zelenak, also has been missing since the attack. Her family is pleading for information and raising money to fly her parents to Britain, where Ms Zelenak worked as a nanny.

Ignacio Echeverria, a 39-year-old Spanish banker, also remains missing after trying to help a woman injured in the vicinity of Borough Market, his father said, based on the account of a friend of Mr Echeverria's who was at the scene. The friend described seeing Mr Echeverria lying on the floor after confronting one of the assailants.

The son's employer, HSBC bank, has provided the services of a private detective to help in the search.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editors Choice

Also in World News