French Chic & Slim
|| 23 March 2017
London Attacks - Special Correspondent - French Students
Yesterday mid-day when I first learned of the terrorist attack in London, my first thought was our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent. I knew that she lives not far from where the attack occurred. But I was reasonably sure she was safe. An email she wrote earlier that morning told me that she was planning on meeting a friend for lunch in Brighton. By my estimation, our Special Correspondent was eating dessert in Brighton at the time of the terrorist SUV was plowing into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge near London’s Parliament. But I emailed asking for confirmation she was okay.
In response, Kat wrote:
Thanks for your concern, yes I was in Brighton yesterday, and husband and daughter were nowhere near Westminster, so we are all safe and well. It was eerie watching the news on TV, though: both my bus routes to the West End pass by Parliament, one goes over Westminster Bridge, and I often get off at the bridge and walk from there, as the views are so lovely. Terrible situation, and likely to be repeated, I'm sorry to say. These random attacks by weird people are impossible to predict, and impossible to prevent.
While the news of Kat and family was good, that of an American couple in London to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary and three French students on a school trip to London was tragic — as well as the news of the other 3 killed and 40 injured. Kurt Cochran of West Bountiful, Utah, was killed and his wife injured in the attack. Three of the French students were seriously injured.
The most detailed information on the French students has been in Le Telegramme, the newspaper in Concarneau, the city located on that arm of western France that stretches out into the Atlantic from Brittany. The Lycée de Saint-Joseph the injured students attended is located in Concarneau.
As soon as the news of the attack reached France, President Hollande sent a French military jet to pick up the parents of the three injured students and fly them to London. The mother of one of the students, Thomas, told Le Telegramme by phone that they were transported so quickly from the plane to the hospital that she could not answer the question as to where in London the hospital was located. It was independently confirmed as St. Thomas Hospital not far from the the bridge where the attack began. Accomodations and other needs of the parents of the injured students are being looked after by the French Embassy in London.
Both Thomas and another of the three French students are identified as having fractures lourdes. Badly broken bones. Thomas' mother told the newspaper that her son has fractures to his legs, a head wound, and a localized hematoma behind a lung. The exact condition of the other two students was not known at ihe time of the newspaper report.
A bus is reportedly bringing the other 90 uninjured students who were on the trip back home to France. A team of psychologists is on hand to help them deal with the trauma of the attack. The students are ages 15 and 16.
As Kat said in her email, we can at the present time neither predict nor prevent. But we are saddened by the four deaths — and by the horrendous injuries to more than three dozen individuals from eleven nations. One, PC Keith Palmer, who was at his duty — and the others who were enjoying that lovely view from the bridge that many of us have also enjoyed — with better memories of the day.
May the families and friends of the dead find comfort — and may the injured recover speedily.
be chic, stay slim, stay safe — Anne Barone
Image: map of Westminster Attacks 2017 by OpenStreetMap via Wikipedia.