— With AAP.
1. The two Australian women killed in the London Bridge terror attack died trying to save others.
Australians Sara Zelenak and Kirsty Boden were killed in the London Bridge terror attack after both made the fatal decision to check on the scene rather than flee.
Zelenak, a 21-year-old nanny, and Boden, a 28-year-old nurse, were murdered along with six others during the attack by Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba on the night of June 3, 2017.
An inquest into the attacks in London has heard the three attackers used a van to run down dozens of people on the bridge before stabbing dozens more with 30cm ceramic kitchen knives in the nearby Borough Market.
The van first struck Frenchman Xavier Thomas, 45, who died after being thrown into the river, with 30-year-old Canadian Chrissy Archibold struck and killed moments after.
Detective Superintendent Rebecca Riggs told the Old Bailey on Tuesday that Zelenak, of Queensland, was walking down steps nearby with a friend when they heard the van crash into a railing and turned back to see what happened.
The Queenslander was viciously stabbed in the neck and body by Butt and the others.
Just around the corner Boden, who was having dinner at the Boro Bistro with two friends, also heard the crash and told her dinner companions she was going to see if anyone was hurt.
“Her immediate response was to leave the table where she was sat with her friends and to go to assist as she was a nurse,” England and Wales Chief Coroner Mark Lucraft told the inquest’s opening day.
In the meantime the attackers knifed French chef Sebastian Belanger, 36, before stabbing 26-year-old French waiter Alexandre Pigeard, who South Australian Boden then started to treat.
“Whilst Kirsty was trying to assist she was also attacked,” Det Insp Riggs told the inquest.
After being stabbed in the chest by Butt, Boden started running towards The Mudlark pub, but she collapsed and died from her injuries.
“The lives of many people were torn apart in what took place in less than 10 minutes of high and terrible drama,” Judge Lucraft said.
Boden’s English partner James Holler said her brave actions that summer night would not have seemed unusual for everyone who knew her.
“To Kirsty it wouldn’t have seemed brave, she loved people and lived her life helping others. To Kirsty her actions that night would have just been an extension of how she lived her life,” he said.
“We are so unspeakably proud of her and not a day goes by that we are not in awe of her bravery that night.”
The attackers went on to kill 32-year-old British web educator James McMullan and Spanish money laundering analyst Ignacio Echeverria, 39, who died trying to defend a woman by fighting off the trio with his skateboard.