A diner caught up in the London terror attack on Saturday night has returned to the restaurant to settle his unpaid bill – and to leave a tip for the brave staff.
Richard Angell was enjoying an evening at Arabica Bar and Kitchen when three men began attacking people in the area surrounding Borough Market.
The terrorists, two of whom have now been named by police as Khuram Butt and Rachid Redouane, had already driven a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before arriving at the nearby market.
Once there, they began stabbing people enjoying a Saturday night out at one of the area’s many bars, pubs and restaurants. Seven people were killed and over 50 injured in the attack, 21 critically so. Five people are still reported missing.
Angell, 33, told BuzzFeed News that he and his friends had been sitting “at the table nearest the door” in the restaurant on Saturday evening when the attackers arrived on the scene, “which is quite horrifying to think about”.
Suddenly, the think tank director became aware of Borough Market security telling restaurant staff to lock the doors and “duck and cover”.
“People jumped to the floor, knocking over tables… They moved quickly and were visibly shaken,” he said.
Angell, who also appeared in a passionate TV interview after the attack, said that the restaurant staff, who were generally “young”, “responded in an understandable way” to the situation. “They were very panicked themselves,” he said.
He added that he and his friends helped other customers in the restaurant, including a pregnant woman, get upstairs. He persuaded people not to try and leave the building by the fire escape, while his friend “made sure all the lights and candles were turned out”.
As they were encouraging people to go upstairs, Angell said he looked up through the bar doors and saw a man staggering out of the nearby Black and Blue restaurant, “holding his chest and neck, covered in blood”.
He witnessed another man “throwing chairs and a table at the restaurant opposite.
“It was totally unclear what it was but it turned out to be this hero.”
The first 999 phone call regarding the London Bridge was placed at 10.08pm. Within six minutes, London Ambulance Service paramedics arrived at the scene and began taking the wounded to hospitals across the capital.
Within eight minutes – or 480 seconds – armed police had arrived on the scene and shot the attackers dead. “It felt like [the emergency services] were there almost immediately,” said Angell. “They were absolutely brilliant.”
He added that he would be returning to Arabica Bar and Kitchen when it reopens.
“I’ve got to pay my bill. Also, we haven’t given the staff a tip and they looked out for us when they should have been helping themselves,” he said. “It was lovely food and I want the rest of my main course.”
Echoing the defiance seen at the One Love Manchester concert, Angell said that he refused to be cowed by the events of Saturday night.
“These people [the extremists] shouldn’t win,” he said. “This is the best city in the world and Borough Market is one of my favourite bits of the best city in the world.
“I’m not going to let the barbaric acts of cowardly people minimise that.”
Images: iStock, Rex Features