Footage taken by one of the survivors of the New York attack – Ariel Benvenuto – shows the group of friends enjoying a ride on the bike path near the World Trade Center complex on Tuesday shortly before the attack. The five victims were among eight friends who travelled from Argentina on Sunday for a trip to New York and Boston, near where one of their classmates lives.
two days into their trip to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their graduation from the school, the group of friends seized on the warm autumn day to make the most of their visit to New York City.
They wandered the city’s sites and stocked up on souvenirs for their families. Later in the afternoon they rented bikes, smiling and snapping selfies as they rode alongside the Hudson River.
A video taken by one member of the group shows the men waving as they cycled two-by-two down the cycle path under a clear blue autumn sky. One flashes the peace sign, another a thumbs-up. “That’s it, champion,” says one. “A bike ride: very, very good,” is the last comment on the clip.
Minutes later five members of the group would be among the eight people killed and 11 wounded as motorist Sayfullo Saipov, 29, originally from Uzbekistan, allegedly ploughed a pickup truck down a crowded bike path along the Hudson river in Manhattan on Tuesday, before being shot by a police officer. It was the deadliest terrorist attack in New York since 11 September 2001.
In the Argentinian city of Rosario, the white and blue national flag at the San Martín Polytechnic flew at half-mast on Wednesday, as the country mourned the dead.
The five Argentinian victims were all well-known architects and businessmen in Rosario, an economic powerhouse – and the hometown of Ernesto “Che” Guevara and Lionel Messi.