The ‘Angel of London Bridge’ and a much-loved Brisbane nanny are being mourned as Australian victims whose lives were claimed in the London terror attacks.
The family of Brisbane 21-year-old Sara Zelenak confirmed her death on Wednesday, a day after relatives of South Australian nurse Kirsty Boden identified her as the other Australian among the seven killed in the weekend attack.
Ms Zelenak was killed after being separated from her friend while trying to flee from the chaos as three men ploughed a van through pedestrians on London Bridge on Saturday night.
Ms Boden was hailed a hero, and dubbed by British media the ‘Angel of London Bridge’, for running to help victims of the stabbing and van attack, only to fatally stabbed herself.
“As she ran towards danger, in an effort to help people on the bridge, Kirsty sadly lost her life,” her family said.
“We are so proud of Kirsty’s brave actions which demonstrate how selfless, caring and heroic she was, not only on that night, but throughout all of her life. Kirsty – we love you and we will miss you dearly.”
Ms Boden, 28, worked in the theatre recovery ward at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, which said she was a “one in a million” nurse who “always went the extra mile for the patients in her care”.
It was unclear if Ms Boden was hurt on the bridge or when the three men in the van went on a stabbing rampage in nearby Borough Market before they were shot dead by police.
Ms Zelenak’s mother Julie Wallace had told Brisbane radio station 97.3FM she was fortunate to evade two prior terror attacks.
Ms Zelenak had a ticket but did not go to the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, the site of last month’s suicide bombing, and was also at Westminster Bridge a day before that deadly rampage in March.
Her family had been bracing for the worst after appealing for information in a Facebook post shared hundreds of times on Monday, saying she usually rang her mother daily.
“Even though there was limbo for days, there was still a bit of hope,” her aunt, Tara, said on Facebook.
“We are all so distraught to have lost our little Sara.
“She is the most beautiful, happy, positive young lady with so much to live for.
“Her heart and spirit will live on in all of us.”
Visiting Sydney to launch the Invictus Games, Prince Harry paid tribute to the women and acknowledged the role of the thousands of Australians living in London.
“Australians form an important and vibrant part of the fabric of life in London and we are reminded of that in good times and bad,” the prince said.
“Our hearts go out to the victims, their friends and families.”
The women’s deaths follow that of Melbourne man Sam Ly, 28, who was among the 52 killed in the London bombings in 2005.
Government officials are yet to release the names of the women, however Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has spoken with Ms Zelenak’s family.
“I am a father … Kirsty or Sara could be one of my kids, it could be one of your kids,” he told Melbourne’s 3AW on Wednesday.
“This is heart-rending, this is the last thing anybody expects to happen to their children when they are in London.”