‘It was carnage’: Witnesses describe terror as attacks unfolded across Paris

Witnesses have described the absolute terror experienced as seven attacks unfolded across Paris.

 

At least 160 people have been killed in a series of attacks on busy restaurants, bars, a concert hall and the national football stadium in Paris.

Here’s what those on the scene experienced.

Inside the Bataclan

Journalist Julian Peace told CNN he was inside the Bataclan in the 10th arrondissement, a popular and renowned concert venue, when the attack happened.

He said two to three people – not wearing face masks – opened fire on the crowd with automatic weapons, possibly, kalashnikovs.

He said the shootings lasted 10 to 15 minutes – long enough for the assailants to re-load their weapons two or three times.

Peace said he heard nothing from the shooters, just the screams of the crowd.

Another witness, who was at the Bataclan with his mother, told France Inter he heard attackers screaming “Allahu Akbar” while shooting the crowd.



Marc Coupris told the Guardian ‘It was carnage’. He was freed from being held hostage at the popular concert venue.

“It looked like a battlefield, there was blood everywhere, there were bodies everywhere. I was at the far side of the hall when shooting began. There seemed to be at least two gunmen. They shot from the balcony.”

“Everyone scrabbled to the ground. I was on the ground with a man on top of me and another one beside me up against a wall. We just stayed still like that. At first we kept quiet. I don’t know how long we stayed like that, it seemed like an eternity.

“I saw my final hour unfurl before me, I thought this was the end. I thought I’m finished, I’m finished. I was terrified. We must all have thought the same. Eventually, when a few gendarmes came in slowly we began to look up and there was blood absolutely everywhere. The police told us to run.

Inside the Stade de France

Sports photographer Xavier Barret was watching the France-Germany game with his children.

He was in the press box while his 19-year-old daughter and five-year-old son were in the stands.

20 minutes into the match he heard ‘a big boom, something like ‘boom’,” he told the Guardian.
“I said, this is incredible, I’ve never heard this kind of noise in the stadium.”

Diners react to restaurant shooting

Tourist Margot Schmorak was eating dinner with colleagues in one of the shooting locations in Paris Friday when they "heard a bunch of gunshots, maybe eight to 10 and then there was kind of a pause and there was a few more."

"We saw people running from around the corner and actually from the other direction as well and our first instinct was to run into the restaurant," Schmorak said.

"We had the blinds closed to the restaurant and some people had left the restaurant. [Police officers] told us one area to go that was safe but we’re tourists so we’re feeling a little bit nervous [about] where exactly to go and how to get back."


Rue de Charonne:

Speaking with France Inter radio, witnesses were in tears.

One woman who was near Rue Charonne said the scene was absolutely catastrophic.

“I worked in hospitals, I studied medicine, and I’ve never seen anything like it.

“It was “a carnage”, she said.

People were lying dead on the floor, badly hurt and screaming. “I’ll never forget it.”

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