Off-duty police officer who tackled London Bridge attackers bare-handed in critical condition

Police attending to the incident on London Bridge on June 3, 2017.
Police attending to the incident on London Bridge on June 3, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON - An off-duty police officer who was stabbed after tackling one of the attackers during the London Bridge attack is in critical condition, BBC said.

The British officer, who is a rugby player, was one of the first on the scene and ran towards the attackers despite being unarmed.

He was among several officers who tried valiantly to stop the attackers late on Saturday (June 3) night before colleagues arrived, reports said.

A British Transport Police officer also faced all three attackers with only his baton.

He received stab wounds to his face, head and leg but is now in a stable condition.

Chief constable Paul Crowther said: "For an officer who only joined us less than two years ago, the bravery he showed was outstanding and makes me extremely proud."

The officers were not named in the reports.

At least seven people were killed and dozens more wounded, including 21 who remained in critical condition, as the men sped across London Bridge in a white van, ramming numerous pedestrians before emerging with large hunting knives for a rampage in the capital's Borough Market, a crowded nightspot, The New York Times said.

Four police officers were among the injured.

The three assailants were chased down by eight armed officers who fired about 50 rounds, killing the men.

Ordinary Londoners also helped to chase the attackers away using whatever was at hand.

Mr Giovanni Sagristani, 38, and his friends were in a restaurant when one of the attackers came in and stabbed a woman in the chest.

Fellow diners pushed the attacker out of the restaurant by throwing chairs and bottles at him, while Mr Sagristani's partner Carlos Pinto, 33, attended to the woman.

Mr Pinto and his friend are critical care nurses.

The restaurant lowered a security gate and locked everyone in once the attacker was out.

Mr Sagristani told BBC it was "very lucky" they were there, as it took more than two hours before paramedics were able to reach them.

Taxi driver Chris was also on London Bridge and tried to stop them by driving his taxi at them.

"I saw a young girl being stabbed in the chest," he told LBC radio.

"I said to the guy in my cab I was going to try to hit him, I was going to ram him. I turned around and tried, but he side-stepped me," he added.