Inquests have been opened into the deaths of those killed during a terror attack on London Bridge.

Eight people died and 48 were injured when Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before attacking and stabbing people in Borough Market on Saturday, June 3.

Inquests into five of those killed were opened at Southwark Coroners Court on Tuesday, June 13, with the hearing of the final three victims taking place on Wednesday, June 14.

The Guardian reported that senior coroner Dr Andrew Harris offered his condolences to the families of the victims and said it was “the most horrible thing” for family members to hear of their violent deaths.

The eight victims of the London Bridge attack (clockwise from top left): Christine Archibald, Kirsty Boden, Sara Zelenak, Sebastien Belanger, Xavier Thomas, Ignacio Echeverr’a, James McMullan and Alexandre Pigeard

A Spanish national who worked for HSBC in Canary Wharf and was living in Poplar, Ignacio Echeverría, 39, has been hailed as a hero after he was killed trying to defend an injured woman using just his skateboard for protection.

On Tuesday, the inquest heard that the financial crime analyst died from stab wounds to the back. He has been posthumously been awarded Spain’s highest honour for civilians, the Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit.

HSBC worker Ignacio Echeverría was killed in the London Bridge attack

The mother of Australian nanny Sara Zelenak, 21, was in the court to hear that her daughter died after being stabbed in the neck on Borough High Street.

The inquest also revealed that Australian health worker Kirsty Boden, 28, died after being stabbed in the chest as she ran towards the danger to try and save people. Her body was found near to Southwark Cathedral.

James McMullan, 32, from Brent, died from a haemorrhage after being stabbed in the chest and was found outside the post office in Borough High Street. French chef Sebastien Belanger, 36, also died after being stabbed in the chest in Borough Market.

Wednesday’s inquest revealed that French national Xavier Thomas, 45, whose body was pulled from the river in Limehouse three days after the attack, was last seen by his girlfriend Christine Delcros on London Bridge.

Christine was hit and seriously injured by the van, and police are still investigating how Xavier ended up in the water. His cause of death was given as ‘immersion’, or drowning.

In a statement on Friday, June 9, Christine described her late partner as “a father who did everything for his children”.

The body of Xavier Thomas was pulled from the River Thames in Limehouse
Xavier Thomas and his girlfriend Christine Delcros

She added: “Xavier, my love, my sun, you have marked my heart forever as no one had been able to before.

“I wish, during these difficult times, to pay tribute to the exceptional man you were and will still remain for us all. I love you.”

Canadian Christine Archibald, 30, died in her fiancé’s arms after she was hit by the van on London Bridge. She was killed by multiple and severe blunt crush injuries.

French waiter at the Boro Bistro in Borough Market, 26-year-old Alexandre Pigeard, was found dead by Southwark Cathedral with stab wounds to his neck and chest. His cause of death was given as a haemorrhage caused by knife wounds.

The Telegraph reported that Mr Harris will suspend the inquests until the police investigation is complete.

Speaking on Tuesday, he said: “A full report takes many months and in light of the extensive police investigation I am going to suspend my investigation into these deaths giving the police time to conduct theirs.”

A date for the inquests of Butt, 27, Redouane, 30, and Zaghba, 22, all three of whom were shot dead by police eight minutes after the first call to emergency services, has not yet been set.

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