How pub staff saved customers’ lives in London Bridge terror attack

Bravery: two members of staff were injured during the incident (image: Google Maps)

Staff and customers at Borough Market pub the Wheatsheaf came face to face with the terrorists who inflicted havoc in the area after barricading themselves in the venue moments before the attackers were gunned down by police.

Two members of staff from Young's-owned Wheatsheaf were injured during the incident and taken to hospital, the pub company has confirmed this afternoon (4 June).

One eyewitness of last night’s (3 June) terror attack told The Morning Advertiser (MA) he and others who were locked in the pub for their own protection were just a few feet from the terrorists and heard the gunfire that killed two of them outside the pub.

Entrepreneur and Londoner Chris Harris was out with friends in London Bridge to watch the Champions League football final between Juventus and Real Madrid and went to the Wheatsheaf, Stoney Street, for a final drink of the evening.

“They stopped and turned to look at us all in the pub, at which point they started banging on the doors. They were the attackers"

Harris, who escaped unharmed with two friends, said: “There’s an outside courtyard area and we were sat there with a drink and somebody had said ‘can everyone get inside?’, but there wasn’t any more information. A few people did go inside and a few stayed at their tables.

“Then there was another warning and we went into the pub and we could see there were people running along Stoney Street and then I checked on Twitter and saw there were warnings, so I told my friends we should be careful.”

Shortly after getting everyone into the pub, staff started to lock and block the site’s two entrances, which is when the attackers approached the windows, explained Harris.

‘Running past the windows’

“We saw a few more people running past the windows and then a few guys just strolling past, which seemed a bit odd,” he added.

“They stopped and turned to look at us all in the pub, at which point they started banging on the doors. They were the attackers.

“I had seen the attackers through the window and one of them was wearing what looked like a vest with canisters on it. The natural reaction I had was to get down.”

“We then heard what sounded like firecrackers coming from one of the doors at the front, I wasn’t sure what that was, but it seemed like the attackers were trying to get in"

A few people in the pub had gone to ensure the doors were secure and to look for another exit at the back of the pub, he said.

“We then heard what sounded like firecrackers coming from one of the doors at the front, I wasn’t sure what that was, but it seemed like the attackers were trying to get in and we heard shouts from the front of the pub saying ‘get down!’.

“A few people hid under the tables and, after a while, we heard gunshots ringing out and, after a little while, people started to get up from where they were.”

Another round of shots

More shouts of “get down” followed before another round of shots were fired outside the pub, he explained.

“I want to give praise to the bar staff in how they handled the situation, how they reacted and how they made us all safe.

“It just happened so quickly, but the staff made us feel so safe and I am grateful for that.”

Although he couldn’t be sure, Harris believes he saw a member of bar staff run to the back of the pub with a handful of napkins after he heard someone call for a doctor.

A spokesperson for Young’s said: "Two members of staff at the Wheatsheaf pub were injured in last night's attack and were treated in hospital.

“Our thoughts are with them and their families and with everyone else who was affected by this horrific incident. We are working with the police to assist them with the ongoing investigation."

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