London attack: Borough Market restaurants remain shut

The empty Stoney Street lined with restaurants and bars outside Borough Market in London on June 4, 2017, a day after the terror attack.
The empty Stoney Street lined with restaurants and bars outside Borough Market in London on June 4, 2017, a day after the terror attack.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON - Restaurants in Borough Market remain shut for a third day on Tuesday (June 6) as police continue with forensic work after three men atacked pedestrians and diners in the London Bridge area on Saturday night.

One of those is Lobos, a Spanish tapas restaurant run by Singaporean Ellen Chew, 49, where three people were stabbed right at its front door.

Some staff members are badly shaken, and have been given time off to recuperate at home. Ms Chew said at least one employee quit his job after the incident, while another may need therapy.

She does not know when police will allow her and her team to return to the restaurant.

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"The main priority now is the staff, making sure they are okay," said Ms Chew, who was told about the attack by an employee who texted her. She initially thought it was a fight and had rushed to the restaurant from her home but could not get past the police cordon.

"I'm just thankful that the terrorists didn't enter the restaurant, and the staff were quick-thinking and could safeguard customers."

Sous chef Renan Marquesi, 22, said he was in the kitchen when he heard a commotion. He went outside the restaurant and was shocked to see three bodies on the ground, covered in blood, while hordes of people were running for their lives.

Some frantically dashed into the restaurant and staff members immediately shut the door to protect diners and those seeking refuge, while ushering the 15 or 16 people to move upstairs.

"One man was delirious and wanted to go out, and we had to stop him," said Mr Marquesi, who is from Brazil.

The police later came and told everyone to leave the vicinity as quickly as possible. That was when Mr Marquesi noticed a woman who was so traumatised she could not walk.

He scooped her up and ran down London Bridge, falling over a few times.

"The situation was very scary but I tried to tell my heart to keep calm and make sure everybody was calm," he said. "I'm just sad I couldn't help those people on the ground."

Ms Chew said staff members who do not wish to return to Lobos in Borough Market can work at its other branch in Soho.

 

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