NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A group of Argentinians came to New York to mark decades of friendship, but they ended up in the middle of Tuesday’s deadly terror attack.
Five of them were killed, while five survived. Four of them spoke publicly for the first time Friday night.
As they rode their bicycles down the West Side bike path, they could never have predicted they would be standing inside the Argentinian consulate days later as survivors of a terror attack.
The men said it was a dream that became their worst nightmare.
In Spanish, one survivor said there’s no way to understand, no words to describe the terrible experience they survived.
Eight people were killed and 12 others were injured when authorities said Sayfullo Saipov drove a rented pickup truck down a bike path, plowing into bicyclists and pedestrians for an entire mile before crashing into the school bus.
Saipov was shot by an NYPD officer after he jumped out of the truck with two air guns. He appeared before a federal judge Wednesday night to face charges that include providing material support to a terrorist group.
Argentinians 48-year-old Ariel Erlij and 47-year-olds Hernan Diego Mendoza-Espino, Alejandro Damian Pagnucco, Hernan Ferruchi and Diego Enrique Angelini were among those killed.
Martin Marro, an Argentinian from Boston who was hosting the group, is still in the hospital. On Thursday, he learned five of his best friends were killed.
“In the end it was, I understand, very difficult for him, but it was the right thing to do,” said Argentina’s Consul General Mateo Estreme.
Marro suffered several broken bones and a head injury, but doctors say he is now in stable condition.
“My impression is that he is going to heal quite well,” Estreme said.
Families of the victims began arriving in New York City the day before to identify and claim the bodies of their loved ones.