London Bridge inquest: Victim’s partner had ‘premonitions’ of terror attack | UK News
The partner of the first victim of the London Bridge terror attack has told an inquest that she wanted to avoid the bridge that evening because of “premonitions” of an attack.
Christine Delcros was seriously injured when attackers drove their van at her and 45-year-old Xavier Thomas as they crossed London Bridge on the evening of 3 June 2017.
Mr Thomas, a Frenchman, was catapulted over the balustrade and into the Thames. His body was found three days later.
Speaking at the inquest into the attack, Ms Delcros said she and Mr Thomas had arrived that morning after travelling from France by Eurostar.
“Just before we reached the bridge I told him… we had to go somewhere else,” a sobbing Ms Delcros said.
“He couldn’t understand it,” she added. “I had so many premonitions about terror attacks.”
Ms Delcros said she remembered being on the bridge and then suddenly seeing a lot of light and a van that mounted the pavement.
She said she only saw the van for a moment before the impact.
When Ms Delcros regained consciousness, she asked about her partner and asked people to look for him in the river.
BBC journalist Holly Jones comforted Ms Delcros as she laid injured on the bridge.
Ms Jones said: “I remember looking over and saw a female on the floor. My first thought was, ‘Where’s the gentleman that was with her?'”
She looked in the river, remembering that people had been thrown in the river in the Westminster terror attack, just months prior.
When Ms Delcros asked her, “Where’s my boyfriend?” Ms Jones replied, “I don’t know”.
Ms Jones then shouted at boats to come over, used her phone light, and then made a 999 call telling the operator she thought people may be in the river.
Eight people were killed in the attacks.
After a van was deliberately driven into pedestrians on the bridge, killing two people, the driver and two other terrorists ran to the nearby Borough Market area and began stabbing people, killing another six.
They were stopped by police who shot them dead about 10 minutes after the rampage began.
Ms Jones recalled how she avoided being hit by the van on London Bridge.
“I remember being stood frozen in fear. Something in the back of my mind told me to get out of the way. I jumped to the right towards the railings,” she told the inquest.
“At that point the van went past me. I could feel the wind of the van directly behind.”
She said she saw the driver’s face, eyes wide open and arms flailing as if he was struggling to keep vehicle under control. “It was terrifying to see his face… angry and even demented,” Ms Jones added.
She said: “Those who did this try to separate us but they did the opposite. We are not victims of terror, we are survivors.”
When Mr Thomas’ body was found, the cause of death was given as immersion.
Defending the time it took to find Mr Thomas’ body, Police Constable Nicholas Bultitude said his crew had carried out a “hasty search” of the river around three minutes after reports of a person in the river, but he later left the search operation to go and warn others of the danger.
He said: “When I made the decision, so far as I was concerned, if someone has gone in, then tragically they are lost. I made the decision to depart from it.”
“Xavier had probably already been lost if there was no-one in the river. That was a factor in my thought process.”
The other victims in the attack were Christine Archibald, 30, killed on the bridge; Alexandre Pigeard, 26; Sara Zelenak, 21; Kirsty Boden, 28; Sebastien Belanger, 36; James McMullan, 32; and Ignacio Echeverria, 39.
The inquest continues.