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KU student feared for his life in ‘terrorism’ scare

By Elena Cherubini Oct 17, 2017
Ascari (left) and his friend just moments before the attack

A Kingston student feared for his life and sought refuge in a pub after Natural History Museum accident was mistaken for terrorism on Saturday October 7.

Third-year pharmacy student Giulio Ascari, 21, was leaving the Natural History Museum with a friend when a crowd of people charged towards them outside South Kensington tube station.

“When we reached the tube station there was a huge crowd of people running towards us screaming and shouting, we thought it was a terrorist attack,” Ascari said. “It was super scary and we feared for our lives.”

Ascari and his friend started running in the opposite direction to avoid being caught in the crowd and get hurt and hid in a nearby pub.

“We went to this pub and we shouted ‘there is a terrorist attack!’ and they closed the pub, turned the light off and we just stayed there for half an hour listening to the TV,” the student said.

Ascari said he saw multiple ambulances, police everywhere and a helicopter hovering over head.

The most frightening thing for him was not knowing what was going on at the time as the police were not giving out any information while they sealed off the street.

“It was fucking scary as we did not know it wasn’t a terrorist attack, it had all the elements to be one. It did not look like an accident there was way too many forces there,” he said.

“The police were saying nothing, the only thing I heard was from a guy working at the museum but he did not know either what was going on.”

An hour after being locked inside the pub it emerged that the incident was not terror related and it was being treated as a traffic accident. Only at that point did Ascari and his friend feel safe to leave the pub.

Eleven people were injured and have been treated at the hospital after a minicab driver struck pedestrians outside the museum.

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