An eyewitness from Northern Ireland has described how customers and staff in the restaurant she was in stood up to the killers behind the London terror attack.
Amy Webster, a 26-year-old from Londonderry, said the attackers were forced outside as they were bombarded with chairs and glass.
She was seated just two tables away from a teenage girl who was stabbed in the midriff by the terrorists.
Ms Webster said she was seated near the door with her boyfriend, Ryan Davies, and two friends when the knife-wielding murderers burst through the door.
She said: “At first I thought it was a fight – there was glass and chairs chucked around in all directions.
“People reacted so quickly. We waited about 10 minutes and thought that was it and we were all trying to figure out what to do and then we heard shots outside.”
Police officers had opened fire on the suspects outside, killing all three, but inside, diners and staff remained largely unaware of what was happening. It would be two hours before they were given the all clear by armed police.
Amy said: “The girl who was stabbed had lost a lot of blood and was exhausted. We couldn’t get her to an ambulance. There were two people who had been giving her first aid and everyone was doing what they could to help. The staff were just incredible, they were making sure we were all ok. They were absolutely incredible and we owe our lives to them. The whole way through, everyone pulled together looking after each other.”
She continued: “The armed police then came and banged on the door. There was a bit of an exchange between the manager and the police because at this stage we still didn’t know what was going on. We decided to let them in and they came in shouting ‘put your hands on your head’ and told us to leave the restaurant. When we got outside there was another one shouting ‘keep your hands on your head and keep walking’. We saw blood outside a couple of different pubs. That was horrible. It was so scary, the police were pointing guns at us – for all they knew there might be another terrorist in the restaurant.”
Before they were released, the other diners also related how they, like Ryan, had seen one of the killers with a large knife.
“It was the scariest thing I have ever experienced,” Ms Webster said. “It could have been a lot worse and we are both thinking a lot about the people who weren’t as lucky as we were.”
She also paid tribute to the emergency services’ bravery.