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Survivor’s family ‘overwhelmed by love’

Andrei Burnaz and Andreea Cristea
Image caption Andreea Cristea was on holiday with Andrei Burnaz

The family of a Romanian woman who fell into the Thames during the Westminster attack say they have been overwhelmed by “love, support and respect” for her.

Andreea Cristea, 29, was on holiday with boyfriend Andrei Burnaz, when they were driven at by Khalid Masood on London’s Westminster Bridge.

In a statement, the couple’s families said Ms Cristea was still in a critical but stable condition in hospital.

Commemorative events take place later for the four people killed a week ago.

Police officers and hundreds of members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association are among those expected to join together on Westminster Bridge to mark the attack.

The Metropolitan Police Federation said people planned to link hands across the bridge from the south to the north at 14:40 – the time the attack began.

Similar events are also being staged on bridges in Sheffield, Birmingham, Leeds, Leicester and Manchester.

Masood killed three people when he drove his hire car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge.

After crashing, he then fatally stabbed PC Keith Palmer outside Parliament, before being shot dead by police.

Image caption Mr Burnaz was also on Westminster Bridge a day before the attack

The families of Ms Cristea and Mr Burnaz have issued three new photographs of the couple through the Metropolitan Police, including one taken on Westminster Bridge the day before the attack.

They said: “Our family is so grateful for the first responders, the medical personnel and the assistance of the UK government agencies.”

They said Ms Cristea “benefits from the best medical healthcare possible. We are overwhelmed by the love, support and respect for our Andreea.”

Mr Burnaz sustained a broken foot in the attack but has been discharged from hospital.

Last week, Romania’s UK ambassador, Dan Mihalache, revealed that Ms Cristea had been due to receive a marriage proposal from her boyfriend on the day of the attack.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Westminster Bridge will be the centre of commemorative events later

He said it was thought Masood’s car had mounted the pavement and hit Mr Burnaz, before pushing Ms Cristea into the Thames.

Twelve people are still being treated at hospitals across London.

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Meanwhile, the Met Police have announced that the funeral of PC Palmer will take place at Southwark Cathedral on 10 April.

He will receive a full police service funeral, which will be followed by a private cremation.

The other people killed in the attack were Aysha Frade, 44, who worked at a London sixth-form college, US tourist Kurt Cochran, 54, from Utah, and retired window cleaner Leslie Rhodes, 75, from south London.

Image copyright PA/Facebook
Image caption PC Keith Palmer, Kurt Cochran and Aysha Frade all died in the attack (left to right)

Inquests into their deaths are due to be opened and adjourned at Westminster Coroner’s Court.

The inquest into Masood’s death will be opened and adjourned on Thursday.

Media captionFarasat says he was horrified and bewildered when he learned Khalid Masood, his former employee, was the Westminster attacker

The so-called Islamic State group has said it was behind his attack, but Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said that while Masood “clearly had an interest in jihad”, police had so far found no evidence of an association with the group or al-Qaeda.

Two men arrested in Birmingham under the Terrorism Act by police investigating the attack remain in custody after officers were granted warrants for further detention.


Read what we know about the Westminster attack

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