5 Friends on Dream Trip to NYC Among Victims of Attack

Group from Argentina was celebrating 30th anniversary of graduation
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2017 4:26 AM CDT
5 Friends From Argentina Among Victims of NYC Attack
This undated photo provided by the St. Charles County Department of Corrections via KMOV shows Sayfullo Saipov.   (St. Charles County Department of Corrections/KMOV via AP)

Five of the eight people killed in what authorities believe was an ISIS-inspired terrorist attack in Manhattan Tuesday were friends visiting the city to celebrate the 30th anniversary of graduating from high school in Argentina. Authorities say the five men from Rosario, all in their late 40s, were riding bikes when Sayfullo Saipov drove a rented pickup truck down a bike path near the World Trade Center, running over cyclists and pedestrians, the Washington Post reports. A sixth member of the group was hospitalized in stable condition. "We accompany the families in this terrible moment of deep pain, which all Argentines share," the Argentine government said in a statement. According to Argentine media, one of the victims, steel firm owner Ariel Erlij, helped pay for the group's trip to New York, which was described as the "trip of their dreams."

Three other people were killed in the attack, including a Belgian woman who was visiting New York with her mother and sister, the Guardian reports. Authorities say at least 11 people were injured, though two children injured when Saipov drove the pickup into a school bus were not seriously hurt. Lawyer Tom Kendrick tells the New York Times that he encountered the gruesome aftermath of the rampage while jogging. He says he saw a mangled bike and a body, and then three bodies close together. "I approached to see if I could help and they did not need help—they appeared to be dead," he says. Saipov, a 29-year-old Uber driver from Uzbekistan, was shot after emerging from the vehicle with what turned out to be imitation firearms. Authorities say he's in critical condition but is expected to survive. (More Sayfullo Saipov stories.)

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