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'Malagueños' caught up in the London attack

Casto López and Beatriz Rebolledo.
Casto López and Beatriz Rebolledo. / SUR
  • Beatriz Rebolledo was at work at the nearby St Thomas Hospital while Casto López was heading home on the bus as helicopters flew overhead

Beatriz Rebolledo was in the operating theatre when it all began. "We were making our way through the scheduled operations when the alert went off," says this Malaga-born nurse who has been working in London's St Thomas Hospital for the past two-and-a-half years. The hospital, across the river from the Houses of Parliament, treated the majority of those injured in the attack.

"We had to postpone any operations to keep the theatres free for any of the injured," said the 26-year-old in the aftermath of the attack. From the window she could see all of the ambulances and helicopters while patients piled into the emergency ward. "We couldn't cope with them all - some had to be taken to the Kings College hospital nearby because they have facilities for neurological surgery procedures and we don't."

"Others couldn't be moved here and had to be attended on Westminster Bridge," she said.

All staff prepared for the worst, "for whatever was necessary; we had no idea what was going to be needed at the time".

Two shifts were established and all staff situated nearby were placed on alert to ensure that the hospital remained adequately staffed until everyone was treated. "They don't know how many people they will need. I live just 10 minutes away so I can be there quickly should they call me again."

Not too far away was another person from Malaga, Casto López. He was on his way home on the bus when police patrols closed off the roads and the sky filled with the noise of helicopters. "As soon as we got home, we put on the TV and we saw what was happening," explained this young man who lives in London with his girfriend, Marie, who coincidentally was in Paris at the time of the attacks there.

"Recently we've been seeing in the news that something like this could happen. We were fearing it. Surely now they will have to take security much more seriously," he said from his home in Kings Cross where he feels "much safer".