London attack: First victim identified as Canadian woman who died in fiance's arms

Christine Archibald was among the seven people killed in the terror attack on London Bridge.
Christine Archibald was among the seven people killed in the terror attack on London Bridge. PHOTO: REUTERS

OTTAWA - The first victim of the terror attack on London Bridge on Saturday (June 3) has been identified as a Canadian bride-to-be who died in her fiance's arms, Canada's CBC news reported.

Christine Archibald, from Castlegar in British Columbia, was among the seven people killed in the attack by three knife-wielding men who mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge before going on a stabbing spree at the nearby Borough Market.

The CBC, citing her fiancé's siblings, reported that the 30-year-old woman was in London for the weekend with her fiancé, Tyler Ferguson.

Ferguson was walking just ahead of Archibald on the bridge when the attack happened, his brother Mark said.

"He heard tires screeching and he looked back, and he just saw the mayhem going on and the van hitting people," Mark said.

"He tried CPR on her ... first responders showed up right away and they tried to do everything they could for her. She passed in his arms," he added.

Ferguson's sister, Cassie, told CBC News he has been "broken into a million pieces". "He held her and watched her die in his arms."

According to the siblings, the couple had been living in the Netherlands for about eight months, where Ferguson was working as an accountant.

Ferguson had travelled to London for about a week on business, with Archibald joining him for the weekend.

They had been planning to return to Canada when Ferguson was done with his overseas contract, Mark said.

"They were very madly in love and had quite the plans for the future," he added. "(It's) obviously very, very devastating for him. The love of his life has just been ripped away from him."

A statement from the Archibald family said they were mourning the loss of their "beautiful, loving daughter and sister".

The family said she had previously worked at a homeless shelter in Canada, before moving to Europe to be with her fiancé.

"She had room in her heart for everyone and believed strongly that every person was to be valued and respected," the statement said. "She would have had no understanding of the callous cruelty that caused her death," they added.

"Please honour her by making your community a better place. Volunteer your time and labour or donate to a homeless shelter. Tell them Chrissy sent you."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed on Sunday a Canadian was among those killed in the "senseless" terror attack.

Trudeau said in a statement Canada "strongly condemns" the van-and-knife assault that injured dozens, AFP reported. He said he was "heartbroken that a Canadian is among those killed."

Canada would continue to work with Britain and its other allies to fight terrorism, Trudeau added.

One Frenchman is also reported to be among the dead. Seven French citizens have also been injured, according to AFP.