Westminster attack victim was knocked into Thames, inquest hears

Andreea Cristea, who was visiting from Romania, died of multiple organ failure and immersion 15 days later, coroner told

A Romanian tourist was “knocked” from Westminster Bridge during the terror attack by Khalid Masood and died of multiple organ failure 15 days later, an inquest has heard.

Andreea Cristea, 31, died on 6 April after her life support was turned off by doctors. Opening and adjourning an inquest into her death, the Westminster coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox was told Cristea died of multiple organ failure, head injuries and “immersion”.

Det Supt John Crossley told the hearing Cristea was “knocked” from the bridge. There had previously been some reports that she had jumped to avoid the oncoming vehicle.

Masood, also known as Adrian Elms and Adrian Ajao, killed three other people when he drove his 4x4 Hyundai Tucson along the pavement of the bridge before stabbing to death PC Keith Palmer, an unarmed member of the parliamentary and diplomatic protection command unit who was guarding an entrance to the Houses of Parliament.

More than 35 people were injured in the attack, with wounds ranging from cuts and bruises to extensive bone and skull fractures. One person remains in a coma with extensive injuries.

The inquest into Cristea’s death was adjourned until a pre-inquest review on 19 May at the Royal Courts of Justice.

Cristea was in London for a short break with her boyfriend, Andrei Burnaz, who has since been discharged from hospital. A video of the incident captured at long-range showed Cristea falling from the bridge after Masood careered towards her .

She was pulled to safety when the crew on a passing boat saw her floating downstream. Staff on the Millennium Diamond used a boat hook to grab her clothing. She was then picked up by a rescue boat and treated by paramedics.

Inquests into the other victims’ deaths were opened and adjourned at an earlier hearing. Palmer’s cause of death was given as haemorrhage and a stab wound to the chest, the inquest heard.

How the Westminster terror attack unfolded

An American tourist Kurt Cochran, 54, and teacher Aysha Frade, 44, died at the scene on the bridge after being struck by the car. Cochran died of multiple injuries and Frade died of head and chest injuries, the inquest heard.

Leslie Rhodes, a 75-year-old retired window cleaner, was taken to King’s College hospital but died three days later of a head injury.


Jamie Grierson

The GuardianTramp

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