Friday 17 January 2020

'He held her and watched her die in his arms': Chrissy Archibald who died in attack leaves behind heartbroken fiancé

  • French citizen also among seven killed. 
  • Australian woman, New Zealand man and UK journalist among the injured
  • Family of Chrissy Archibald say she "would have had no understanding of the callous cruelty that caused her death"
Christine Archibald, originally from Castlegar, British Columbia, is seen in an undated photo released by her family June 4, 2017 after it was announced that she was killed in the London Bridge area attacks. Courtesy of the Archibald family/Handout via REUTERS
Christine Archibald, originally from Castlegar, British Columbia, is seen in an undated photo released by her family June 4, 2017 after it was announced that she was killed in the London Bridge area attacks. Courtesy of the Archibald family/Handout via REUTERS Newsdesk Newsdesk

A Canadian woman killed in the London terror attack would have had "no understanding of the callous cruelty that caused her death", her family said as they paid tribute to her.

Christine Archibald has been named as the Canadian national who died during Saturday's atrocity in London Bridge and Borough Market, one of seven killed and 21 critically injured.

Geoff Ho
Geoff Ho

It is understood she was one of the people struck by the van driven by the terrorists.

Her family said in a statement: "We grieve the loss of our beautiful, loving daughter and sister. She had room in her heart for everyone and believed strongly that every person was to be valued and respected.

Candice Hedge
Candice Hedge

"She lived this belief, working in a shelter for the homeless until she moved to Europe to be with her fiance.

"She would have had no understanding of the callous cruelty that caused her death.

"Please honour her by making your community a better place. Volunteer your time and labour or donate to a homeless shelter. Tell them Chrissy sent you."

Mark Ferguson, the brother of Chrissy Archibald's fiance, wrote: "I can't even believe this is real! My brother and his fiancé were on London bridge last night. She was one of the victims struck by the van. They tried everything but weren't able to save her.

"His life, and all those close to her have been changed forever. My heart goes out to her family in his desperate time. These senseless acts of terror need to stop!

"What does it accomplish other then wreck the lives of innocent people.? I'm so mad at the type of people who can do this. Please everyone live life to the fullest, it's so fragile and can be ripped away at any moment. I love you Tyler! Stay strong.!"

"He is broken into a million pieces," Tyler Ferguson's sister told CBC News in a Facebook Messenger conversation. "He held her and watched her die in his arms."

Cassie Ferguson Row, the sister of Chrissy Archibald's fiancee, wrote on Facebook: "I can't breath. You hear these things so often but it doesn't seem real. Last night in London my baby brother lost the love of his life on the London bridge. In a split second his entire life was ripped away from him.

"Hearing his painful sobs on the phone while he's alone trying to deal with this tears me apart. I have no words. If you know Tyler, please be there for him now, and later when what happened sinks in, he's going to need us all."

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said he was "heartbroken" to learn of Ms Archibald's death.

Applauding the UK for its strength and resilience in the face of adversity, he said: "These hateful acts do not deter us; they only strengthen our resolve.

"Canadians stand united with the British people. We will continue to work together with the United Kingdom and all our allies to fight terrorism and bring perpetrators to justice."

On Sunday Prime Minister Theresa May visited some of the 48 people taken to hospitals across the capital after the attack.

A rest centre was also set up at London South Bank University where volunteers from the British Red Cross helped those affected, Southwark Council said.

Among the injured are:

* A British Transport Police (BTP) officer and an off-duty Metropolitan Police officer are in hospital with serious injuries but neither are believed to be in a life-threatening condition, Scotland Yard said. The BTP officer, who was on duty, was one of the first at the scene after he responded to calls for help from the public, the force said.

He suffered serious injuries when he was stabbed in the face, head and leg, wounds which BTP said are not thought to be life-threatening.

* New Zealander Oliver Dowling is reported to have been left in a coma after being stabbed in the face, neck and stomach.

Mr Dowling, 32, from Christchurch, is said to have had four hours of surgery for his injuries and is in an induced coma.

According to the Mirror, his sister Freddy Dowling said on Facebook: "Doctors are very happy with how he's come out the other side. A massive thank to the University of London Hospital for their tireless efforts in helping my brother out."

It was reported that his girlfriend, Marie Bondeville, was also injured.

* Sunday Express business editor Geoff Ho was left in intensive care after being stabbed in the throat when he tried to help a wounded bouncer.

Mr Ho was filmed being led away from the scene by a policeman, clutching his neck and with his shirt off.

According to the Mirror, he wrote on Facebook: "Don't know whether it was stupid or noble to jump in and break up the fight outside the Southwark Tavern, but two a***s trying to do over the lone bouncer on the door isn't happening on my watch."

Friend Isabelle Oderberg tweeted: "We have found Geoff. He is in intensive care." She told Melbourne newspaper The Age: "He is actually a martial artist and I wouldn't be surprised if he would have stood up and been counted because he's just that type of person."

* Two Australians were stabbed in the neck while prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said the government had "very real concerns" about another two citizens who may have been caught up in the attacks. Candice Hedge is recovering in St Thomas' Hospital, while Andrew Morrison received stitches for a wound and was on his way home to Australia.

* A French citizen died in the attacks and seven were taken to hospital, four of whom were in a critical state, foreign affairs minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

Another French national is missing, he added.

Newspaper Ouest-France reported the victim was from St Malo, Brittany, and worked in a bar in the London Bridge area.

Read more: 'We were just trying to keep everyone as safe as we could' - Waiter describes how restaurant staff came to rescue of customers in London attacks

Read more: Flat raided by police in Barking, East London 'is home of one of the terror attackers' - reports

Read more: British & Irish Lions offer condolences to those affected by London terror attack

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