Body found in River Thames in search for missing London Bridge terror attack victim

Xavier Thomas.
Xavier Thomas.

The death toll from the London Bridge terror attack has risen to eight after police searching for a French man missing since Saturday recovered a body from the River Thames.

Xavier Thomas, 45, is thought to have been struck by the terrorists' van on the bridge and witnesses reported him being thrown into the water.

The body was recovered near Limehouse, downstream of London Bridge, at around 7.45pm on Tuesday by specialist officers from the marine police unit.

Scotland Yard said formal identification had not yet taken place although Mr Thomas' next of kin had been informed.

James McMullan, 32, from Hackney, Canadian Christine Archibald, 30, Australian nurse Kirsty Boden, 28, and Alexandre Pigeard, 27, have already been named among the dead.

Nathalie Cros Brohan, sister of Mr Thomas's girlfriend, Christine Delcros, posted on Facebook on Wednesday morning that the family "fear the worst".

Mr Thomas had been missing since he was caught up in the attack with Ms Delcros.

The couple, who were visiting London for the weekend, were walking south over London Bridge around the time the attack started, according to police.

Ms Delcros was seriously injured by the van, although her condition in hospital has stabilised, her family said.

The announcement came as UK authorities faced new questions over how one of the London Bridge attackers was let into Britain despite being on a security watch list.

Youssef Zaghba had been flagged to British intelligence services after telling Italian police "I'm going to be a terrorist" when he was reportedly stopped trying to travel to Syria.

Italian prosecutor Giuseppe Amato said there was not enough evidence to arrest or charge the 22-year-old when he was caught at Bologna airport last year.

He said Zaghba was always tracked by Italian intelligence officers while in the country and that UK authorities were informed.

"We did everything we could have done, but there weren't elements of proof that he was a terrorist," he added.

The youngest of the attackers, an Italian national of Moroccan descent, he was allowed to enter the UK and had been living in east London.

Counter-terror agencies were already under intense scrutiny after it was revealed Khuram Shazad Butt, 27, and Rachid Redouane, 30, were also known to security services.

The trio killed eight and injured 48 in their rampage around London Bridge and Borough Market on Saturday night.