Christine Archibald was walking around London with her fiancé Saturday night. It was her first time in the British capital. But what was a usual weekend evening became a night of terror when a white Renault van plowed into pedestrians on London Bridge, before three attackers fled and started stabbing people at bars and restaurants in nearby Borough Market.
At least seven people — including Archibald — have died, and 48 others were injured, in what police declared was a terrorist incident. The attack took place less than two weeks after a suicide bombing claimed 22 lives at a Manchester concert, and just one day before a benefit concert for victims of that attack.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said in the wake of the London Bridge attack that the U.K. is experiencing a “new trend” of terror threats. Police said they killed all three attackers, and least 12 related arrests have been made over the weekend.
The victims include at least one French national who has not yet been identified, and there are more foreign nationals among the injured. Here’s what we know about the victims.
The death of 30-year-old Christine Archibald, from British Columbia, was confirmed by her family in a statement Sunday, reports CBC News. Archibald and her fiancé, Tyler Ferguson, were walking on London Bridge when the van drove into the sidewalk.
Ferguson had tried to resuscitate her before paramedics arrived to take over. But they weren’t able to save her, according to the family.
“He is broken into a million pieces,” Ferguson’s brother told CBC News. “He held her and watched her die in his arms.”
Archibald had worked in a homeless shelter in Calgary before moving to Europe, and intended to return to Canada with Ferguson after their marriage, according to CBC.
“She had room in her heart for everyone and believed strongly that every person was to be valued and respected,” the family said. “She would have had no understanding of the callous cruelty that caused her death.”
The family called on others to “honor her by making your community a better place.”
“I am heartbroken that a Canadian is among those killed,” read a statement from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “We grieve with the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones, and wish all those injured a speedy and full recovery.”
Family members of 32-year-old James McMullan told the BBC they believe he was one of the people killed in the attack. McMullan has been missing since Saturday night, and his bank card was found at the scene. His body has not yet been formally identified.
“While our pain will never diminish, it is important for us to all carry on with our lives in direct opposition to those who are trying to destroy us and remember that hatred is the refuge of small-minded individuals and will only breed more,” his sister, Melissa McMullan, told the BBC.
“From his friends that were with him that night, they want everyone to know what a generous and caring friend he was,” she added. “Words will never be able to match his essence. There will only ever be one James.”
The family of Australian national Kirsty Boden confirmed on Tuesday that she lost her life running “towards danger.” Boden, 28, is one of four Australians to have been caught up in the attack and reportedly lived in London for sometime as a nurse.
Her family said in a statement, released by London’s Metropolitan Police, that Boden “most outgoing, kind and generous person who loved to help people.”
“Helping people was what she loved to do in her job as a nurse and in her daily life” her family said. “As she ran towards danger, in an effort to help people on the bridge, Kirsty sadly lost her life. We are so proud of Kirsty’s brave actions which demonstrate how selfless, caring and heroic she was, not only on that night, but throughout all of her life. Kirsty – we love you and we will miss you dearly.”
The family of a second Australian national confirmed her death on Wednesday. Sara Zelenak’s family and friends had previously expressed their concerns for the 21-year old, who had been missing since Saturday night’s attack.
The Guardian reports that Zelenak moved to London from her native Brisbane in March to work as an au pair, and had become separated from her friends in the midst of the attack. According to her stepfather, she was due to babysit on the evening of the attack but a change of plan meant that she was in the London Bridge area as the three attackers struck.
Zelenak was described as “absolutely beautiful” and “a very special kindred spirit” by her aunt in an interview before she was named as a victim of the attack. A fundraising page was set up Monday to assist Zelenak’s parents to travel to London in the wake of the attack, and has recently re-opened to help support the family further.
This is a developing story.
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