The eight victims of Tuesday's terror attack in Lower Manhattan in which a man plowed a truck down a bicycle path have been identified by NYPD and include five friends visiting New York City from Argentina, a woman visiting from Belgium, a New York City male and a man from New Jersey.
The friends from Argentina were celebrating the 30th anniversary of their graduation from a polytechnic high school, Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
The victims were identified as Hernán Mendoza, 47; Diego Angelini, 47; Alejandro Pagnucco, 47; Ariel Erlij, 48; and Hernán Ferruchi, 47 by the Consulate General of Argentina in New York. Martin Marro, a sixth friend, was injured in the attack. As of Tuesday night, he was recovering at New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital.
The other victims are Anne Decadt, 31, from Belgium; Nicholos Cleves, 23, from New York City and Darren Drake, 32, from New Milford, New Jersey.
The Argeninian men were part of a larger group of 10 people, according to Argentinian newspaper La Nacion. They were all from Rosario, Argentina, a port city along the Parana River that is about 300 miles northwest of Buenos Aires.
Éste es el grupo de rosarinos afectados en el atentando en NY. Promoción 87 del Politécnico. Al menos 1 muerto (Ariel Erlij) y 4 heridos. pic.twitter.com/LIhaVqFKJy— Hernán Funes (@HernanFunes) November 1, 2017
The men rented bicycles Tuesday afternoon and were exploring the city when the attack occurred, according to La Nacion. Erlij, 48, was a well-known businessman in Rosario, the paper reported, and was the one who organized the trip. Officials from their high school released a statement on Facebook expressing their "most sincere condolences to the families of the victims of the attack in New York City," all who were from the class of 1987.
Argentina President Mauricio Macri said on Twitter that he was “Deeply moved by the tragic deaths of this afternoon in NY.”
The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister for Belgium, Didier Reynders, also made a statement on Twitter confirming that a Belgian national died in the attack.
“I am deeply saddened to announce a Belgian victim in Manhattan - I express my condolences to the family and friends,” she wrote.
I am deeply saddened to announce a belgian victim in #Manhattan - I express my condolences to the family and friends 🇧🇪🇺🇸— didier reynders (@dreynders) October 31, 2017
Local Belgian newspapers reported that Decadt was from Staden, a village with a population of about 11,000 people. She was on a trip with her two sisters and mother, according to Het Laatste Nieuws.
Three other Belgians — a family of a mother, father and son — were also injured in the New York City attack, the paper reported.
About a dozen people were injured in total, officials said. That includes two New York City Schools staff members and students, according to a spokesperson for Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña’s office.
Those four people were injured when the suspect, identified as 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov, crashed his pickup truck into a school bus after driving down the bike path, near Stuyvesant High. One of the students is in critical condition.
"Yesterday there was an act of terror in close proximity to several schools in lower Manhattan. We stand with the entire city as we mourn this senseless loss of life, Fariña said in a statement. “We are grateful to the first responders and school staff who work tirelessly to help keep our schools and communities safe. Ongoing guidance and trauma counselors will be provided across schools to those in need."