A construction worker helping to build London’s Crossrail has been praised for heroism during the city’s terror attack on Saturday, 3 June after he hurled chairs, pint glasses, bottles and bicycle parts at the terrorists to ward them off a woman who had already been stabbed.
Oi, cowards! I chucked a bottle at them, pint glasses, stools, chairs – whatever I could find– Gerard Vowls, Laing O’Rourke
Laing O’Rourke employee Gerard Vowls, 47 (pictured), said he heard one shout "This is for Allah" as the murderers closed in on her.
He had been watching the Champions League final in a pub and was going home when the attack began.
The three men appeared "brain dead", he said.
"They just looked blank. They were in another frame of mind. They just didn’t care who they killed. They looked organised.
They knew what they wanted to do, and it was to stab people. They just wouldn’t stop," Vowls told newspaper The Times.
Amid the chaos he saw a blonde woman, thought to be in her twenties or thirties, being stabbed. "All three of them were on the one woman. One went, ‘This is for Allah’. They went on stabbing her. She was going, ‘Help me, help me’."
Vowls said: "I tried to throw a bike at him. It was the basket of the bike. The bike was on the ground. The three of them ran off towards Borough Market. They got as far as the Globe [pub] and some guy came round the corner saying, ‘Run, run, run, they’ve got knives. They’re terrorists. They’re going to kill you.’ But he was too late. They got to him. He got stabbed as well."
Vowls said the attack continued around the market. He thought a terrorist was chasing him and hoped he could lead the man on to the street where police could shoot him, The Times reported.
"At the Southwark Tavern, I saw a black guy get stabbed. He was on the floor. I was telling everyone, ‘Go, go, go. They’ve got knives, they’re terrorists.’ They went to a restaurant, and [then] another one. They went to the Wheatsheaf [pub]. As they left, I was going, ‘Oi, cowards!’ I chucked a bottle at them, pint glasses, stools, chairs – whatever I could find.
"Then [the attackers] went to the Market Porter. They stabbed a man and then a woman. I heard bottles going. They came out of there. They went to the restaurant on the right. They went in there, then they came out, and they stabbed a black guy. I heard him scream. It was like a sword battle."
"I was going, ‘Oi, cowards!’ I chucked a bottle at them, pint glasses, stools, chairs – whatever I could find."
Viv Jones, Laing O’Rourke business unit leader of UK infrastructure, praised Vowls’ bravery.
"We thank the police and emergency services for their swift response and for the bravery also shown by members of the public in the face of such horror," she said, reports Construction Enquirer.
"One such person seeking to help those around him was our colleague Gerard Vowls, and we are immensely proud of his courage."
Image: Gerard Vowls, interviewed on ITV This Morning, 5 June 2017 (screen capture)