LONDON (AP) — England’s chief coroner has criticized the lack of barriers to protect pedestrians on London Bridge at the end of a lengthy inquest into the killing of eight people during an extremist attack two years ago.
Coroner Mark Lucraft said Friday that the eight people were “unlawfully killed” during a van and knife attack on June 3, 2017 that also left 48 people badly injured.
The attack started when two pedestrians were killed on London Bridge before the extremists’ crashed their hired van into railings. Three men emerged with knives and attacked people on the bridge and nearby Borough Market.
The three assailants were shot dead by police.
No protective barriers had been put in place along the bridge despite a similar attack on Westminster Bridge three months earlier.
The families of some of the victims criticized police and security services for failing to take action to prevent the attack or lessen its impact, particularly because one of the extremists had been watched by authorities, who were aware of his radical beliefs.
Philippe Pigeard, father of victim Alexandre Pigeard, said outside the court that there had been “a lot of missed opportunities” to stop the assault.
“I think this attack could have been prevented,” he said, citing the lack of protection along the bridge as one factor.