Kiwi in London attack hid under stairs, ran to safety

People flee as police attend to an incident near London Bridge in London. Photo: Reuters
People flee as police attend to an incident near London Bridge in London. Photo: Reuters

A Kiwi man was having a beer with friends when he was told to dive to the ground amidst the chaos of the London Bridge terror attack.

Ross Fowler hid under the stairs while armed police yelled at scared patrons to "get down!". After 45 minutes of hiding he sprinted to safety.

Mr Fowler was at the German beer hall Katzenjammers which is near the Borough Market. He said police officers rushed down in droves grasping machine guns and yelling at the crowd to get on the floor.

Mr Fowler thought attackers were going to follow the police in.

"Everyone was freaking out, crying. We had no idea what was going on.

"They yelled 'get the **** down, s**t's about to go down'," Mr Fowler said.

He said there was some confusion over whether they should get out of the building or stay bunkered down.

After 45 minutes police told them they were going to be evacuated. The group of about 200 people was led up a fire escape. Mr Fowler said they had to run to safety in groups of five.

"We were told to sprint as fast as we could to where it was clear... police were everywhere.

"Luckily we didn't see anything."

Mr Fowler said it was easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment and they were all freaked out but he made sure his mates were alright.

Once they reached safety Mr Fowler and his friends grabbed a rental bike as all the public transport was either closed or overwhelmed. They cycled to the closest tube station to get home.

"It was a bit of a mission but it had to be done."

Mr Fowler said it made him realise how lucky we are to live in New Zealand - a relatively peaceful country.

"Life is a breeze compared to living here. You just cruise.

"But it's about understanding that these things can happen anywhere. You can't control it or live your life thinking 'I just want to stay home'.

"I'd rather enjoy my life and just keep on going."

Mr Fowler, originally from Rotorua, moved to London six months ago with his Bulgarian wife

He works in a hotel doing corporate sales.

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