Every victim of the London Bridge attack who made it to hospital has survived their injuries, it is being revealed today.
The astonishing achievement saw medics being praised for their skill in dealing with so many critically ill patients.
This revelation came as it also came to light that the ISIS terrorists had at least four petrol bombs and 14 jerry cans used to store fuel in their rented van at the time of Saturday’s attack.
They planned to torch a busy pub or restaurant with revellers trapped inside, according to sources close to the investigation.
But their plot was thwarted by a “people’s army” of brave Britons who took them on unarmed, possibly saving hundreds of lives and many of them sustaining serious injuries in t he process.
Twenty-one of the 48 who were admitted to five hospitals were initially classed as “critical” and the number of lives saved is being seen as testament to the success of London’s major trauma centre network, which ensures the most seriously ill patients get immediate world-class care.
The fact trauma doctors in the capital see so many “penetrating injuries” due to the knife crime epidemic meant they were able to put previous learning into practice, the Standard was told.
Hospital doctors also praised the “outstanding and brave” emergency response from London Ambulance Service and the improved first-aid skills of police and public at the scene which helped keep victims alive.
King’s College Hospital in Denmark Hill and The Royal London in Whitechapel, which received the bulk of the casualties, said all their patients had survived. NHS England confirmed that apart from French national Xavier Thomas, 45, whose body was found in the Thames, all seven other fatalities were at the scene.
By midday yesterday 29 victims were in hospital, 10 in critical care. St Mary’s in Paddington, St Thomas’ in Lambeth and UCLH in Bloomsbury were others to receive casualties.
Duncan Bew, clinical director of the major trauma centre at King’s, operated throughout Saturday night and into Sunday and said: “It was very challenging but what we have trained for.
“Getting there early to receive them [on admission to the emergency department] was the key, or it would have been different. The vital role of public and professional first responders in the chain of survival at the scene is a very significant factor, and they should be praised. No one died who got to hospital.
“We had 15. Some arrived in police cars or vans that ‘scooped and ran’ people from the scene. That decision saved lives. London Ambulance Service also did a fantastic job faced with significant personal risk.”
Sunday Express business editor Geoff Ho treated in intensive care after being stabbed in the neck as he confronted the attackers. He tweeted from his hospital bed yesterday urging people to vote.
Football fan Roy Larner is also out of intensive care after being treated for wounds all over his body as he fought off all three attackers with his fists after declaring: “F**k you, I’m Millwall.”
Brett Freeman, who was stabbed four times and described as a “warrior”, is now home in Dagenham, according to the friend who photographed him in hospital. But doctors warned that some patients face weeks in critical care.
Dr Tom Hurst, a consultant in major trauma at King’s, said there was often a “long tail” in the need for treatment. He was on the scene as a London’s Air Ambulance medic but not called into action, and was back on shift at King’s on Sunday after a few hours’ sleep.
He said: “We made eight to 10 intensive care unit beds available, most of which were needed. The incident has this really long tail. There are a handful of patients, maybe four or five, who [will need intensive treatment for] more than a week, perhaps many weeks.”
Police investigating the attack today arrested a 29-year-old man in Newham on suspicion of terrorism offences. Four men remained in custody. It has emerged that a gym in Ilford raided by officers yesterday had been reported to police two years ago over fears jihadists were being trained there.
Terrorists Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30 and Youssef Zaghba, 22, met outside Ummah Fitness Centre five days before the attack. Butt worked at the gym and Zaghba was known to exercise there.
Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the local Pakistani Christian Organisation, told the Times a man who ran gym classes there had boasted to him about “training jihadists”.
Dr Hurst and fellow clinicians are doing the Three Peaks Challenge this weekend in aid of the critical care appeal at King’s. Visit here for details.