New York terror: Five Argentinian friends on school reunion among dead

Businessman reportedly paid for classmates to travel to mark 30 years since graduation

Several people may have been hit by a vehicle in lower Manhattan at about the time of a reported shooting, and at least five people were hurt according to local reports. Video: Reuters/ @useJeff/ Ricardo Mantilla

 

Five friends from Argentina celebrating the 30th anniversary of their high school graduation were among those killed in the New York terrorist attack on Tuesday.

Argentina’s foreign ministry confirmed the identities of the victims, all from the city of Rosario in central Argentina.

The men were celebrating the 30th anniversary of their graduation from school when they were caught up in the deadly terror attack that has claimed the lives of at least eight people.

The Argentinian government released a statement expressing “its sincere condolences for the death of Hernan Diego Mendoza, Diego Enrique Angelini, Alejandro Damian Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernan Ferruchi.”

The statement said the five deaths were “a result of the dramatic terrorist attack in New York this afternoon”.

It continued: “A sixth victim, Martin Ludovico Marro, is hospitalised at the Presbyterian Hospital of Manhattan recovering from injuries suffered, out of danger according to the official medical part.

Handout police photograph of Saifullah Saipov. Photograph: Getty Images
Handout police photograph of Saifullah Saipov. Photograph: Getty Images

“The compatriots, from the city of Rosario, were part of a group of friendscelebrating the 30th anniversary of their graduation from the polytechnicschool of that city when the tragic event occurred.

“The consulate general continues working in permanent contact with the police authorities and the hospital that received the affected, as well as with therelatives in Argentina. We accompany the families in this terrible moment of deep pain, which all Argentines share.”

Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri later tweeted: “Profoundly moved by the tragic deaths this afternoon in NY. We place ourselves at the disposition of the families of the Argentinian victims.”

An image from a video shows the suspect in a deadly attack being apprehended by police. Photograph: YouTube/Tawhid Kabir
An image from a video shows the suspect in a deadly attack being apprehended by police. Photograph: YouTube/Tawhid Kabir

Local media reported that Mr Erlij, a 48-year-old businessman, owned a steel mill and paid the fares of some of his schoolmates in order for them to be able to make the trip to the US with him.

Meanwhile, the Belgian government confirmed one of its citizens was killed in the truck attack.

Belgium’s deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister Didier Reynders said a Belgian was among those who lost their lives when a truck ploughed into cyclists and pedestrians in Manhattan.

On Twitter, Mr Reynders said he was “deeply saddened” by the news of the death of a Belgian citizen. He said three other Belgians were “also wounded” in the attack, and were “in the operating room”.

Guardian