Roundup: Flags at half-mast, Sydney Opera House lit up in tribute to victims of shopping center attack

By Wang Qi
  • World
  • Tuesday, 16 Apr 2024

SYDNEY, April 15 (Xinhua) -- On Monday, flags across Australia flew half-mast, and the iconic Sydney Opera House was illuminated with a black ribbon on its sails as a tribute to the victims after a mass stabbing killed six people and injured many others at the Westfield Bondi Junction Shopping Center.

Major landmarks in New South Wales (NSW), including the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Queen Victoria Building, lowered their flags as a sign of mourning. Many other states also followed suit to pay respects.

When dusk fell at around 6:00 p.m. local time, a black ribbon was projected on the white sails of the Sydney Opera House as a memorial to those lost.

As of Monday, the identities of all six deceased victims have been formally confirmed, including one Chinese national who was completing her degree at the University of Sydney.

"I am shocked and saddened by the senseless violence and loss of life that occurred at Bondi Junction on the weekend. This morning, police confirmed that a University of Sydney student was one of the victims who died in this tragic incident," Vice-Chancellor and President Mark Scott said in a statement, extending his sincere condolences to the student's family and friends.

While bouquets continued to stack up at Oxford Street near the Westfield Bondi Junction Shopping Center, the grassed area at the front of the University of Sydney Quadrangle emerged as a new mourning place.

Electronic candles were switched on to form a giant "RIP" on the lawn. Lilies, roses, chrysanthemums, and various types of flowers kept being placed by students. Hand-written cards were also left with an intense outpouring of condolence and sympathy.

During the day, NSW Premier Chris Minns announced an immediate investment of 18 million Australian dollars (about 11.6 million U.S. dollars) to the state's coroner's office for an independent coronial inquiry about the horrific attack.

Minns expected that the inquiry would look at the NSW Police response, the criminal investigation, and the offender's past interactions with health authorities.

Four of the 12 hospitalized victims have been treated and discharged, while eight others, including a nine-month-old baby, remain in hospitals across Sydney.

NSW Health Minister Ryan Park addressed local media that the condition of the baby has moved "from critical to serious."

"That's a big change and a significant improvement. What we hope to do is get the baby on the ward in the coming days. That would be a great outcome," said Park.

The harborside metropolis, still recovering from the lingering pain of Saturday's stabbing rampage, was hit hard once again by a stabbing, which occurred at around 7:00 p.m. local time in a Wakeley church.

The incident left four men injured, two of whom were taken to hospital for further treatment, according to a spokesperson from NSW Ambulance.

Police have arrested a male and confirmed that the injured individuals suffered non-life-threatening wounds.

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