Spaniard who took on London attacker confirmed dead

Floral tributes are seen near the scene of the recent attack at London Bridge and Borough Market, June 7, 2017.
Floral tributes are seen near the scene of the recent attack at London Bridge and Borough Market, June 7, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

MADRID (AFP) – The family of a Spanish man who used his skateboard to try to defend a woman from one of the assailants during the London attack confirmed on Wednesday (June 7) that he had died, after a wait of close to four days.

“Ignacio didn’t survive the attacks,” Ignacio Echeverria’s sister Ana wrote on her Facebook page. His other sister Isabel also confirmed his death on her Facebook page.

“We want to see and be with Ignacio’s body. It seems that we won’t be able to be with his body until Friday at the earliest,” she added.

Spain’s foreign ministry also confirmed that Echeverria, a 39-year-old HSBC expert in the fight against money-laundering, had died in Saturday’s attack that saw three assailants in a van mow down people on a bridge and then go on a stabbing spree.

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“Ignacio Echeverria’s exemplary attitude during the attacks is, for all, a model of solidarity,” it said in a statement.

“His courage in defending a defenceless person helps to remember the necessity of remaining united in the face of the scourge of terrorism, faced with those who make violence and terror their only language.”

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack in which police have now confirmed that eight people were killed.

Echeverria’s friend said he spotted him during the short, panic-ridden rampage trying to defend a woman from one of the assailants with his skateboard.

He was last seen lying on the ground and had been missing since.

Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido denounced what he called the sluggish pace of the British victim identification process, calling it “inhumane” for Echeverria’s family.

 

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