Westminster Attack

SU students safe after London ‘terrorist’ attack

Clare Ramirez | Copy Chief

The attack, which has been declared a “terrorist incident” according to a statement released by London’s Metropolitan Police, began around 2:40 p.m. London time.

Syracuse University students studying abroad in London were told to stay away from the city’s Westminster area Wednesday afternoon, after an attacker killed four people and wounded at least 40 others near the United Kingdom’s Parliament.

“All the (SU London) students are now safe and accounted for,” said Margaret Himley, associate provost for international education and engagement, in an email Wednesday evening. “We are advising the students to follow the advice of the London Metropolitan police: remain alert, but not alarmed … review your travel plans … (and) report all suspicious sightings ASAP.”

Nada Silman, the London program’s assistant director for programing and student life, told London students they needed to check in with program officials in an email sent out to the program’s listserv at 4:29 p.m. London time.

She also asked students to contact their parents about the incident to “let them know you are safe.” Abroad officials also reached out to students about the attack through a Facebook group.

The attack, which has been declared a “terrorist incident” according to a statement released by London’s Metropolitan Police, began around 2:40 p.m. London time. According to multiple media reports, witnesses reported a car hitting pedestrians on the Westminster bridge, a popular tourist destination that crosses over the River Thames just east of Parliament Square. The car proceeded to crash near Parliament, where one man exited the vehicle and then stabbed and killed a nearby police officer. The assailant was then shot by another police officer, according to Reuters.

Faraday House — the SU London program’s center, where students take classes — is located in the Bloomsbury area of the city, according to the SU Abroad website, which is about three miles north of Westminster.

Alexis Escandon, a junior communications design major in the SU London program, was in her European art history class at the time of the attack.

“I think they handled it well,” she said, referring to abroad program officials. “We got a message soon after the attack at about 3 p.m. I didn’t get the U.K. government alert message until about an hour later.”

Students in the abroad program live in flats located in zone 1 of the London underground system, per the SU Abroad website. Zone 1, the city’s center, includes the Westminster area.

“A lot of people were concerned about me. I think it’s interesting that it happened while I was abroad because London is a pretty safe city,” Escandon said.

—Senior Staff Writer Sara Swann contributed reporting to this article.

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