London terror victims died from stab wounds: Inquest

A man lights candles in front of placards and tributes to victims on London Bridge.
A man lights candles in front of placards and tributes to victims on London Bridge.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - The two members of the public killed in last week's terror attack at London Bridge each died due to a stab wound to the chest, a coroner was told on Wednesday (Dec 4).

City of London senior coroner Alison Hewitt officially opened the inquests into the deaths of Saskia Jones, 23, and Jack Merritt, 25, before adjourning them to a date to be fixed.

Detective Superintendent Desmond McHugh told the hearing at London's Old Bailey court that both victims were stabbed in the chest while attending a prisoner rehabilitation programme at Fishmongers' Hall at London Bridge on Friday.

"Saskia was attacked inside Fishmongers' Hall and pronounced deceased at the location at 1425," he said.

Merritt was also attacked inside the venue but was taken outside the building on a stretcher as police evacuated the area.

Despite medical intervention, he was pronounced dead close to Fishmongers' Hall at 3.14pm.

A pathologist determined that the victims, both of whom were University of Cambridge graduates, had suffered from shock and haemorrhaging, the inquest was told.

The pair were killed by convicted terrorist Usman Khan - a participant in the rehabilitation programme during some of his roughly eight years of prior imprisonment for terrorism offences.

He showed up armed with two knives and stabbed five people before being shot dead by police while wearing a fake explosives vest.