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London Bridge attack: Sunday Times, Sun, BBC and Spectator journalists among witnesses to terror and first to report

By Freddy Mayhew

Journalists were once again caught up in the middle of a terror attack in London as the UK suffered its third such incident in as many months on Saturday night.

London Bridge is home to a number of newspapers, including The Times, Sunday Times, The Sun and Sun on Sunday all of which are based in the Baby Shard, headquarters of owners News UK.

Also nearby are the Daily Express, Sunday Express and Daily Star, owned by Northern and Shell Media Group, who are based just across the river in Monument, as well as City AM.

A number of staff on Sunday titles were heading home from the office when three terrorists used a hire van to run down pedestrians on London Bridge before getting out and stabbing people in pubs and bars in Borough Market, killing seven and injuring dozens.

Among the injured is Sunday Express business editor Geoff Ho who was stabbed confronting one of the terrorists.

Sunday Times chief sub-editor Ian Houghton was said to have “had to leap out of the way as the van swerved over the bridge” according to a tweet by the paper’s deputy editor Sarah Baxter who reported him “safe”.

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She also tweeted: “Our reporters heading home on #LondonBridge saw several pedestrians mown down as van weaved across road.”

Journalists who had been on London Bridge when the attack took place were among the first to break the news.

BBC reporter Holly Jones told the BBC News channel the van “swerved right round me and then hit about five or six people. He hit about two people in front of me and then three behind.”

Sun reporters Tess de la Mare and Ben Leo as well as Spectator managing editor Will Heaven provided rolling coverage from the scene in a series of tweets.

Heaven said: “Am on London Bridge. Something serious happening. Black can driver shouts that there has been ‘terrorist attack’.

“Have seen two casualties – one on pavement, one edge of road. Yes looks like something very serious happening on London Bridge.”

Mare said: “Bodies everywhere at London Bridge. Gun shots. Van on the pavement. More gun shots. Ordered off the streets. We don’t know what it is yet. People still running. Bodies on the street at Borough Market.”

Leo said: “Looks like a car has mounted the pavement outside work here at London Bridge. Horrific scene at London Bridge… bodies strewn over the pavement. B&Q van mounted the pavement. I feel sick.

“Mass panic shortly after the van hit – armed police urging everyone to get out the area. Saw one man being led away in cuffs.

Absolute terror when I think a gunshot was heard – hundreds fled down the street in sheer panic.”

This is the second time in the last three months where journalists have been direct witnesses to a terrorist attack.

A number of political journalists working out of the lobby at the Houses of Parliament saw Khalid Masood attack police guarding the building, fatally wounding PC Keith Palmer, on 22 March.

Six people died, including Masood.

Picture: Reuters/Hannah McKay

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