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Westminster Bridge attack victim Andreea Cristea dies

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image captionAndreea Cristea was on holiday with her partner Andrei Burnaz

A Romanian woman who fell into the Thames during the Westminster terror attack has died, police have said.

Andreea Cristea is the fifth victim of the attack on 22 March, in which Khalid Masood drove into crowds on Westminster Bridge then stabbed a policeman to death, before being shot dead himself.

Ms Cristea, 31, who was on holiday with boyfriend Andrei Burnaz, had been in hospital since the attack.

It has emerged that Mr Burnaz had been planning to propose during the day out.

'Ray of light'

A family statement confirmed Ms Cristea, who was an architect, had died on Thursday.

The family said: "After fighting for her life for over two weeks, our beloved and irreplaceable Andreea - wonderful daughter, sister, partner, dedicated friend and the most unique and life loving person you can imagine - was cruelly and brutally ripped away from our lives in the most heartless and spiritless way.

"She will always be remembered as our shining ray of light that will forever keep on shining in our hearts."

The family said they were "deeply touched and eternally grateful" to the "never-ending dedication" of the medical staff who treated Ms Cristea, saying their "kindness and empathy are beyond compare".

"There are no words to even begin to describe the crushing pain and emptiness that is left in our hearts," they continued.

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Mr Burnaz, who sustained a broken foot in the attack, visited Westminster Bridge last week to lay a single white rose.

The couple were in London to celebrate Mr Burnaz's birthday and he had been planning to propose to Ms Cristea that day, Romania's UK ambassador Dan Mihalache told the BBC.

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

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he was "deeply saddened to hear of the death of Andreea Cristea".

He tweeted: "Londoners hold her & her loved ones in our thoughts today."

image copyrightPA
image captionAndrei Burnaz visited Westminster Bridge last week to lay a single white rose

The other people killed on the bridge 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.

Father-of-two PC Keith Palmer was fatally stabbed outside Parliament.

Relatives of those killed joined members of the Royal Family at a "service of hope" held at Westminster Abbey on Wednesday.

Ms Cristea's family said they would now like money donated for her recovery to be given to charity.

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