A model from Portadown has told how she narrowly missed the London terror attack after returning to the hotel to get her trainers as she couldn’t walk in her heels.
Ellen Lundy and her friends were about to cross London Bridge but turned back so Ellen could change her footwear.
She said, “While we were going back to the hotel that’s when it all happened so we all feel so fortunate to have missed this terrible attack.”
Ellen and fellow Portadown model Rebekah Wallace were in the city with CMPR model agency on a film shoot.
They were staying in an hotel just yards from the scene of Saturday night’s attack in which seven people were killed and 21 critically injured.
Added Ellen, “The feeling around Southwark was very still. All we could hear were people on the phone to loves ones saying they were okay. There was a sense of panic as well, like in the bars, people were just running to the bars, to watch what was happening on the news.
“Everywhere just started to shut down. Couldn’t get a taxi out, we were just stuck in the hotel. It was just a horrible atmosphere.
“I feel so sorry for the people who were affected by this heinous act of terrorism and our thoughts are with you all.”
Rebekah, along with CMPR colleague Gerard Lavery, from Magherafelt, had been planning to celebrate after finishing the modelling assignment when the three terrorists struck.
She said, “It was scary. We were all on edge. We could hear the sirens. At least 10 ambulances passed us heading towards London Bridge - and within five minutes all the local bars were closed, and the Tube lines were closed too.
“It was really strange. One minute everything was normal, next minute everything was like a ghost town. The mood completely changed.”
Gerard said the CMPR team had been socialising in the Borough Market area the night before the attack. “It was a very sociable area, very cosmopolitan, everybody was friendly,” he said.
“We’d just left the hotel when everything went in to lockdown - Tubes, taxis, everything,
“It was crazy. Ambulances were coming flying by, police and ambulances constantly. We didn’t really understand the scale of what was going on. It was just really kind of scary seeing it all.”
It was only later that he realised he and his colleagues were at the centre of a terrorist attack.
You never really think you’re going to be that person,” he said. “But you can’t live your life in fear. You really can’t. That’s what I’ve gathered from it - but it’s still really a lot to take in.
“It’s been pretty mad.”