Bike path victims included Argentine school reunion group

Butts, Brian
Associated Press

NEW YORK — Argentina on Wednesday mourned five victims of the bike path attack near the World Trade Center who were part of a group of friends celebrating the 30th anniversary of their high school graduation with a trip to New York City.

Parents pick up their children from Public School 89, close to where a gunman emerged from a crashed Home Depot rental truck after plowing down bike riders on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017. The New York Police Department reported one man was in custody after initial reports of gunfire set off a mad scramble in the downtown area. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

The Argentine foreign ministry identified them as Ariel Erlij, Hernan Diego Mendoza, Diego Enrique Angelini, Alejandro Damian Pagnucco, and Hernan Ferruchi. In addition, it says Martin Ludovico Marro was recovering from injuries at Manhattan’s Presbyterian Hospital.

The victims were among eight friends celebrating the anniversary of their 1987 graduation from the Polytechnic School of Rosario, Argentina, with a U.S. trip to New York and Boston, where their classmate, Marro, lives.

More:NYC truck attack: Investigators scour driver’s background

Argentina’s consul in New York, Mateo Estreme, told La Capital in Rosario that the four survivors in the Argentine group are in a state of shock. Only days earlier, before flying to the U.S., they had posed for a group photo, all of them wearing T-shirts with the word “Libre,” or Free.

The trip was paid for by Erlij, the chief executive of Ivanar, an Argentine steel products manufacturing company, according to Argentina’s La Nacion newspaper. Several other victims were architects.

“Four died at the scene and another young man died when he was taken away by an ambulance,” Jose Nunez, a national deputy who was a friend of several of the men, told La Nacion.

The government said that it expresses its most sincere condolences and that all Argentines are sharing in a terrible moment of profound sadness.

The attack killed eight people and seriously injured 11. The deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister of Belgium said in a tweet that one of the dead was Belgian.