A student nurse who escaped Saturday night’s horrific London Bridge terror attack has made a public appeal to find the “hero” taxi driver who saved her life.
Seven people were killed and at least 48 injured when three terrorists drove a van into pedestrians before going on a stabbing spree in nearby Borough Market.
Rhiannon Owen, 19, who was on a night out with friends, says one of the knife-wielding attackers was just metres away from her when she realised what was happening.
It was thanks to the actions of a brave taxi driver that she was able to escape the incident with her life, says the teenager.
“I was using a cash point at London Bridge, when a taxi driver swerved towards me, and screamed at me to RUN,” the Kings College London student wrote in an emotional post on Facebook.
“I turned and saw a man 3 metres from me, with a twelve inch blade, running towards me. I sprinted for my life.”
Owen, who is originally from Nantwich, says she saw a man being stabbed as she fled to try and find refuge.
“Windows smashed, [there were] people screaming everywhere,” she continued.
But despite her fear, the student nurse managed to save dozens of lives by warning fellow revellers of the attack.
“I ran into a nearby open-front pub, and screamed at everyone to run upstairs, that there are people wielding machetes,” she said. “Around 40 of us hid in the storage room upstairs.
“Gunfire opened, well over 20 shots, and we remained in hiding on the floor, to protect us.”
Police eventually ordered the group to run with their hands on their heads “as far away as we could”.
Now “heartbroken” Owen is on a mission to find the man she credits with saving her life.
Thanking the emergency services and Applebee’s pub where she hid from the terrorists, the teen continued: “Thank you to the taxi driver that screamed to run. I owe you my life.
“He is being reported as a hero in the news, please help me find him so I can thank him.”
More than 200 people have shared Owen’s appeal since she posted it to Facebook on Sunday morning.
A woman named Katie Owen commented on the post: “What a terrible situation to have been in. So relieved that you are safe. Well done to the taxi driver- thank you whoever you are.”
Another added: “So glad you’re safe Rhi, I thought of you instantly when I heard. Thank god for that amazing, selfless taxi driver.”
Owen’s account comes amid a whole host of stories showing the kindness and bravery of Londoners following the attack.
While a generous lawyer and his taxi driver cousin inspired thousands of people by pledging to drive people caught up in the attack home for free, a man from Surrey cycled 34km to deliver water to police working at London Bridge.
Heroic medics and police have also been commended for their response to the emergency, with the three attackers shot dead within minutes by armed officers.
The first victim of the attack has been named this morning as Christine Archibald, who died in her fiancé’s arms after being struck by the attackers’ van.
The 30-year-old was from Castlegar in British Colombia and worked in a homeless shelter in Calgary before moving to Europe to be with her partner, Tyler Ferguson.
Christine’s sister told CBC News: “He is broken into a million pieces.
“He held her and watched her die in his arms.”
Speaking on the steps of Number 10 yesterday, Theresa May vowed that “enough is enough”, hinting at tougher counter-terrorism laws for the UK.