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Westminster inquest: MP 'closed eyes' of killed PC after attack

Westminster inquest: MP 'closed eyes' of killed PC after attack

MP Tobias Ellwood rushed to the aid of PC Keith Palmer after the attack
An MP who fought to save the life of PC Keith Palmer during last year's Westminster terror attack has told an inquest how he closed the officer's eyes after he died in front of him.Tobias Ellwood gave CPR to PC Palmer after he was stabbed by Khalid Masood. But he died, along with four other people, after Masood drove into them on Westminster Bridge on 22 March. After almost breaking down in court, the MP said: "I closed his eyes and I said 'I am sorry.'"The inquest into the deaths of PC Palmer, 48, Kurt Cochran, 54, Leslie Rhodes, 75, Aysha Frade, 44, and Andreea Cristea, 31, is taking place at the Old Bailey in London.
An inquest into the death of Masood - who was shot dead by armed officers during the attack - will take place afterwards.
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Mr Elwood - Conservative MP for Bournemouth East and a medically trained former Army officer - told the court he was in a meeting close by when the attack occurred. He said he heard a crash followed by screams, adding: "These were not screams of pain... these were screams of shock." After running through crowds of people with "panic in their eyes" and hearing shots fired, Mr Ellwood said he saw a number of police officers crouched near Carriage Gate - which leads to New Palace Yard, outside the Houses of Parliament - and PC Palmer and Masood on the floor.He said the three officers helping PC Palmer looked like they needed assistance, so he ran towards them.They told him he was risking his life because of the chance of a secondary attack, but the MP - whose brother died in the Bali attack in 2002 - told the court: "My brother was killed in a secondary attack... so I was very aware of that."I was concerned about what would happen if things were to ratchet up, but my immediate concern was that we had somebody who was clearly badly bleeding and needed assistance."
Mr Ellwood is a former Army officer and is medically trained
Mr Ellwood said PC Palmer was unconscious, but that he still had a pulse, telling the court: "I was encouraged that we'd arrived on the scene early enough to do something."But PC Palmer's heart stopped, and Mr Ellwood had to begin chest compressions while someone else gave the officer mouth-to-mouth."By this time the whole of Westminster was very silent," he said. A medical team arrived by helicopter and moved PC Palmer so they could operate on him in the courtyard.Mr Ellwood had to pause in the witness box, before saying: "Forgive me, it's sometimes easier to do the helping rather than to talk about it afterwards."
'I'm sorry'
Despite their efforts, the doctor said there was nothing more they could do.Mr Ellwood said: "I told a doctor present 'you're going to have to order me to stop', and the medic said, 'Sir, you've done your best, but you do need to stop'."We both covered the body as best we could, closed the eyes and I said: 'I'm sorry.'"It was a very strange end to a very traumatic four or five minutes, to suddenly be left completely alone with just one other person."
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