Police first responder describes London Bridge attack mayhem

2017-06-11 20:43
Women look at floral tributes at London Bridge, just over a week on from a terror attack on the bridge and at Borough Market. (David Mirzoeff, PA via AP)

Women look at floral tributes at London Bridge, just over a week on from a terror attack on the bridge and at Borough Market. (David Mirzoeff, PA via AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - One of the first police officers on the scene of the London Bridge attack says he was met by pandemonium, as people fled in panic and the wounded lay on sidewalks.

But he also described how, within minutes, police had killed the attackers, ushered bystanders to safety and begun treating and evacuating the wounded.

Inspector Jim Cole, who was scrambled from his south London police station, said the response was "like something out of a Battle of Britain film" as officers piled into vehicles and raced to the scene.

In an account of the June 3 attack released by the Metropolitan Police, Cole said he arrived at Borough Market to find "casualties on the pavements".

"I asked my officers to form a cordon to stop the public from going into the market, and that's when the shooting started just behind us," he said. "We had no idea what was going on. We didn't know if it was us shooting or if that bad guys had guns."

Armed officers fired almost 50 rounds, killing three attackers who had ploughed a rented van into pedestrians on the bridge, killing three, then jumped out and stabbed on Saturday night revellers in Borough Market, an area packed with bars and restaurants.

Five people died of stab wounds, and almost 50 people were wounded in the attack.

Hid in pub's basement 

Cole said he set up a triage area inside a pub to treat the wounded, including a man who had been stabbed in the stomach.

"I then heard more shouting and a stream of people came out of the market screaming and panicking. I got them into the pub's basement as a place of hard cover," he said.

He said that on his police radio "I could hear officers on London Bridge desperately calling for ambulances," and got a police cruiser to take the man who had been stabbed in the stomach to a hospital.

All of the 48 wounded people who were taken to hospitals survived.

Cole said that soon the situation "began to stabilise," with the attackers dead and the immediate threat contained.

"I felt that it had only been a few moments, but it had actually been about 10 or 15 minutes," he said.

Cole said that when he told the 200 people sheltering in the pub's basement that they were safe and would soon be evacuated, "I got a big round of applause."

"That was a really nice, unexpected moment," he said.


Cole, 41, said the attack was "the most challenging, most intense situation I've dealt with" in an 18-year police career.

"I've dealt with a lot of death and I've been to some pretty horrific scenes in my career, but nothing has ever been on that scale," he said. "It's going to stick with me for a long time."

Police are questioning seven suspects over suspected links to the attackers, Pakistani-born British citizen Khuram Butt, Moroccan Rachid Redouane, and Youssef Zaghba, an Italian national of Moroccan descent.

Read more on:    uk

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.