The French media has reported horrifying accounts from people at the scenes of attacks in Paris on Friday night that left roughly 150 people dead.
French newspaper Le Monde has compiled a number of those eye-witness accounts.
At the Bataclan, the concert venue where about 100 people were killed Thursday, one witness gave the following account to Le Monde:
“Everyone ducked and was walking on everyone else after the gunshots. The stage collapsed because there were so many people. Then 20 or 30 shots were fired; they were firing without purpose. I saw assault rifles. I walked on bodies. There was blood. In the street there were dead people.”
According to Le Monde, roughly 1,000 people were at the rock concert. Journalist Julien Pearce attended the concert and gave this account to Le Monde:
“It lasted at least 10 or 15 minutes. They re-charged; they had all the time they needed. They recharged three or four times, and it lasted at least 10 minutes. They were shooting down with the back of the gun on their shoulder. At some point we took refuge behind the scene, and we were blocked. When the gunshots stopped, we took advantage of the temporary calm to leave through the emergency exit. There we saw a lot of people in the street who were covered in blood, who had gunshot wounds.”
One of the most shared witness accounts on social media was from a man identified as Benjamin Cazenoves. He claimed to have been in the concert hall and posted on Facebook: “I am still at the Bataclan. First floor. Gravely injured. They should storm the place as soon as possible. There are survivors inside. They are killing everyone. One by one. On the first floor, quick!!!!”
At the time this article is written, the status had been shared almost 20,000 times.
French magazine Le Point also published some witness reports about what happened at the corner of the rue Charonne and Faidherbe in the 10th arrondissement.
Oliver, owner of a Senegalese restaurant which is just 20 meters away from the crime scene, told Le Point that he was parking his scooter when he heard noises he assumed were firecrackers.
“I saw all the people of the Belle Equipe (the name of the bar) who were ducking. I locked myself inside the restaurant. The whole terrace was decimated. We were completely overwhelmed. There was blood on the ground, people. People were in panic … It was huge; there were submachine gunshots. It’s horrible.”
Le Monde has also published witness accounts from a woman who got to the scene of the shooting at the restaurant Le Petit Cambodge on the rue Bichat in the 10th arrondissement, where several people were killed.
“There were people on the ground. At first I thought a car ran into the restaurant Le Petit Cambodge, where the window was smashed. I did not understand what was going on. There were people on the ground, so many… I did not see blood though. The firefighters came quickly, but it was very calm, that struck me. I think there were Anglo-Saxons there because a girl who looked like she was in shock, told me ‘gunshot, gunshot.'”
According to the reports from Friday night around 8:30 p.m. EST, at least 140 people were killed in several different attacks around the French capital. The French President, François Hollande, has declared a state of emergency and announced that France’s borders are now closed.
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