New York truck attack: Who were the victims?

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From L to R: Hernan Ferrucci, Alejandro Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij, Ivan Brajkovic, Juan Trevisan, Hernan Mendoza, Diego Angelini and Ariel Benvenuto at airport in Rosario moments before travelling to New York on 28 October 2017Image source, AFP
Image caption,
This image of the Argentine friends was taken moments before they flew to New York. Hernán Ferrucci (far left), Alejandro Damián Pagnucco (second from left), Ariel Erlij (third from left), Hernán Mendoza (third from right) and Diego Angelini (second from right) were all killed

Eight people were killed in New York on Tuesday when a man drove a truck onto a cycle path in Lower Manhattan. Five of them were tourists from Argentina, two were American and another from Belgium.

Belgian national Anne-Laure Decadt, 31, was visiting the city with her mother and two sisters when the attack took place.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Anne-Laure Decadt was visiting New York with her sister and mother

The mayor of Staden in West Flanders, where she lived, confirmed her death on social media.

Decadt was married and had two young sons, who are reportedly just three years old and three months old.

The Belgian Consul General confirmed that they were supporting her family in New York, who were said to be uninjured in the attack.

Five of those killed were from a group of Argentine friends visiting the city: Diego Enrique Angelini, Ariel Erlij, Hernán Ferrucci, Hernán Diego Mendoza and Alejandro Damián Pagnucco.

The trip to New York had been more than a year in planning. They had all studied together at the same polytechnic college in the port city of Rosario, 300km up the Paraná river from the capital, Buenos Aires.

Their time at the General San Martín college, with its demanding curriculum, had created a strong bond between the students, which persisted after they graduated in 1987.

At a school reunion last year, they decided to do something special to mark the 30th anniversary of their graduation, local media are reporting.

One of the class of 1987, Martín Marro, lives near Boston so the idea came up to visit him.

Image source, Martin Marro
Image caption,
Martín Marro was injured in the attack and is being treated in the Presbyterian Hospital for "non-life threatening injuries"

Mr Marro, 48, had been living in a suburb of the city with his architect wife for some seven years, a local politician said.

He works as a senior investigator for Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

A group of nine friends signed up to the trip which would also take them to New York.

Seven of them flew out from Rosario to the US on the same plane on Saturday. Before boarding, they had their picture taken at the airport, all wearing the same white T-shirts with the slogan "Libre" (Free) emblazoned on it.

Ariel Erlij could not fly out with the group that day because he had to attend to some business, but he saw them off at the airport.

Image source, Ariel Erlij/Facebook
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Ariel Erlij was one of the five Argentines killed in the attack

A successful businessman who owned the steel firm Ivanar in Rosario, Erlij had paid for the trip for two of his former classmates who could not afford the costs.

The married 48-year-old, who lived in Funes, just outside of Rosario, flew out a day later to meet his friends.

After spending a day with their friend in Boston, the group, including Mr Marro, flew to New York.

On Tuesday, they decided to hire bicycles to tour Lower Manhattan.

They were cycling two abreast along the West St-Houston St cycle path when a white pick-up truck mounted the path shortly after 15:00 local time (19:00 GMT).

Surviving members of the group told Argentine daily Clarín that those cycling next to the street were killed, while those on the inside of the cycle path were knocked to the ground but fell on to grass and survived.

The Argentine consul in New York, Mateo Estremé, told Clarín that the survivors were in shock and that they did not immediately know what had happened to their friends.

It was not until later that day that they were told that five of their friends had died.

Among the five who died was Hernán Ferrucci.

Image source, Hernan Ferruci/Facebook
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Hernan Ferrucci had travelled to New York with his friends

He had studied at the National University in Rosario after graduating from General San Martín college.

He became an architect and had worked on a project building condominiums in an upscale area of Rosario, local media reported.

Diego Angelini also became an architect after his studies at General San Martín.

Image source, Diego Angelini/Facebook
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Diego Angelini was among the friends who went cycling in Lower Manhattan

Angelini had his own architecture studio in the centre of Rosario.

Alejandro Damián Pagnucco was another one of the group of friends who did not survive the attack.

Image source, Alejandro Pagnucco/Facebook
Image caption,
Alejandro Damián Pagnucco was also killed in the attack

He was 49 and lived in Funes, the same small city outside of Rosario where Ariel Erlij also lived.

Hernán Diego Mendoza also became an architect after graduating from college. According to his Facebook profile, he had worked most recently at Duendes Rugby Club in Rosario.

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Hernán Diego Mendoza posed for a photo for his friends before flying to the US

Ivan Brajkovic, Juan Pablo Trevisan, Ariel Benvenuto and Guillermo Banchini all survived the attack.

The city of Rosario has declared three days of mourning for their five friends.

Two other victims, both Americans, have been identified as Darren Drake, 32, from New Jersey and Nicholas Cleves, 23, from New York.

"Five o'clock came along, no Darren," Drake's father, Jimmy, told reporters the day after the attack.

His son had been working as a project manager at Moody's Investors Service at the World Trade Center, just streets away from the site of the attack.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Darren Drake worked at the World Trade Center, streets away from the attack

"He was the most innocent, delicate kid in the world," Jimmy was quoted by as saying.

He said his son was riding a Citi Bike from New York's public bike sharing system and listening to an audio book when the attack happened.

At 23, Nicholas Cleves was the youngest victim and only New Yorker to die in the truck rampage.

He lived near the site of the attack in Manhattan's trendy West Village.

"He was a really, really kind, not heartless, intelligent and curious person. We always had conversations about what he was studying at school. He was a software developer and he'd just started his first job out of school," his friend, Bahij Chancey, told ABC News.

Image source, Reuters

"He's from the village, he grew up in the village and like me he grew up biking around New York to get around," he added. Mr Chancey attended a vigil in Manhattan for Cleves and other victims, a day after the attack.