Lives lost in '82 seconds', Westminster attack inquest hears

Lives lost in '82 seconds', Westminster attack inquest hears
Four people were run down and killed and a policeman stabbed to death during a frenzied rampage in the heart of London last March.
2 min read
10 September, 2018
An inquest for the victims of the March 2017 terror attack opened on Monday [Getty]
A London terrorist attack which killed five people near the Houses of Parliament in March last year was "82 seconds of high and terrible drama", the first day of an inquest has heard.

Four people were run down and killed by Khalid Masood on Westminster Bridge, while a policeman was stabbed to death outside the Palace of Westminster on 22 March, 2017 seconds later.

The inquest opened on Monday with harrowing CCTV footage of the attack, which showed American tourist Kurt Cochran pushing his wife away from the car which then killed him.

Another victim, 75-year-old Leslie Rhodes from London was dragged under the car for 33 metres, the inquest heard.

Aysha Frade, a 44-year-old British woman of Spanish heritage who was on her way to pick her children up from school, was thrown 17 metres into the road by Masood's car. She was then run over by a bus.

Andreea Cristea, a 31-year-old Romanian interior designer, was thrown into the River Thames.

Masood, who had taken steroids before the rampage, then crashed his car into gates outside the Houses of Parliament, ran into the Carriage Gates vehicle entrance and stabbed PC Keith Palmer to death before being shot by officers.

It was the first attack in the UK claimed by the Islamic State terror group.

A minute's silence was held at the beginning of the hearing at the Old Bailey, after which victims' families read out tributes to their loved ones.

Chief Coroner Judge Mark Lucraft said he hoped the process "will give some comfort to the families of the deceased".

"The lives of many were torn apart by 82 seconds of high and terrible drama," he added.

The inquest will examine what information police and intelligence agencies had on Masood - who was known to MI5 as an Islamist extremist - the security of Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament, and police training and body armour. It is expected to last for five weeks.

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