A flower laid at a police cordon after the London terror attack
Ninety-two French teenagers from the Saint-Joseph secondary school in Concarneau, a seaside town in western France, arrived in London for a week-long school trip on Sunday, but only 36 of them were walking on the bridge when the attack took place.
Bernard Musset, a French official, said that the youths’ injuries were “serious” but not “life threatening”.
Johan, one of the schoolchildren who witnessed the attack, told the French daily Ouest France that he and his classmates had been walking towards the Houses of Parliament when they saw a grey Hyundai come at full speed towards them.
He said: “The car mounted the pavement – we were protected by a barrier but he just ploughed through it and rammed the car into the crowd.”
The teen said the attacker then “jumped out” of the car and “ran towards the Houses of Parliament”.
He said: “We started moving away – from the attacker and from the car – that was our first reaction. To step back. That’s when I heard two gun shots. And then, when I looked around, I realised that victims were strewn across the bridge – some of them had had been stabbed, I think. People were crying and one person had fainted from shock.”
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Éloïse, a student at Saint-Joseph, told Europe 1 radio that the “most gravely injured” teen had suffered “two broken legs” and “facial injuries”.
She said: “He is the worst off, but they are all expected to make a full recovery.”
Nathalie, a mother whose son, Gabriel, was also on Westminster Bridge, told Europe 1 that Concarneau parents were “in shock” and “extremely worried”.
Concarneau mayor André Fidelin, for his part, said that this was the second time in less than two years that the school had been hit by terrorism.
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Estelle Rouat, 25, a former pupil at Saint-Joseph, was killed in the November 2015 terrorist attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, which left 130 people dead and hundreds more wounded.