Witnesses tell of 'bloodbath' at Paris rock concert

Survivors describe the horrific incident at the rock concert

Afp November 14, 2015
Survivors describe the horrific incident at the rock concert. PHOTO: Reuters/Christian Hartmann

PARIS: Terrified survivors from the Paris concert hall targeted during Friday's attacks have described running over bodies and hiding after gunmen stormed the venue and began executing rock fans with barrages of automatic gunfire.

Pierre Janaszak, a radio presenter, was sitting in the balcony with his sister and friends when they heard shots from below about one hour into the concert by US rock band Eagles of Death Metal.
"At first we thought it was part of the show but we quickly understood," he told AFP.

U2 cancel Paris concert after attacks

"They didn't stop firing. There was blood everywhere, corpses everywhere. We heard screaming. Everyone was trying to flee."
Janaszak and his friends hid in a toilet where they would spend the next two hours waiting for police to storm the building and rescue the survivors. Around 80 people are believed to have died in the assault.

"They had 20 hostages, and we could hear them talking with them," said Janaszak.
"I clearly heard them say 'It's the fault of Hollande, it's the fault of your president, he should not have intervened in Syria'. They also spoke about Iraq."

Another radio reporter described the "10 horrific minutes" when the black-clothed gunmen calmly opened fire.
"It was a bloodbath," Julien Pearce, a reporter for France's Europe 1 radio station, told CNN.

In Paris, a night disrupted by terror

"People yelled, screamed and everybody lying on the floor, and it lasted for 10 minutes, 10 minutes, 10 horrific minutes where everybody was on the floor covering their heads."

"We heard so many gunshots and the terrorists were very calm, very determined and they reloaded three or four times."

"People started to try to escape, to walk on people on the floor and try to find the exits, and I found an exit when the terrorists reloaded their guns. I climbed on the stage and we found an exit," said Pearce.

The journalist said he took a teenage girl who was bleeding heavily and carried her to a taxi, telling the driver to take her to hospital.
He said he saw the face of one gunman, who was probably 20 to 25 years old.

"We heard people screaming -- the hostages particularly -- and the threats from the kidnappers shouting 'Look at me!'" added another survivor, 34-year-old Charles.

Along with around 20 others, he fled to a toilet where they pushed through the ceiling and hid in the crawl space. But Charles refuses to be cowed by the terror he experienced. "Life goes on. We won't give in to fear. F*ck them! I'm going to a concert on Tuesday. Keep rocking!"

Paris shootings, explosions leave at least 120 dead

But others face an agonising wait to hear from loved ones lost during the chaos. "My friend Claire was celebrating her best friend's birthday at the concert. We don't have any news, the phones are going to answer machine," said Yvan Pokossy, a 24-year-old party organiser.
"I'm supposed to get engaged to her in three weeks. I don't know if I'll ever see her again."

Marielle Timme hid in a bathroom for close to three hours before being rescued by police.
"What scared us the most was that the last terrorist was killed just near us so we heard all the conversation and gunfire. The bombs, too. We didn't dare open the door to the police, because we didn't know if it was them or the terrorists."

"There's nothing but the sound of gunfire and carnage running through my head," said another young woman who hid in a side room with around 25 people.
"We had one chance in two of taking a bullet," she said, shaking.

Our Publications


Diogenes | 5 years ago | Reply How terrible. So sorry to hear about this France, Ohio sends our love and prayers for you. Dammit. I blame gun control. Because these poor victims had no ability to defend themselves against people obviously unconcerned about the legality of their actions, they were slaughtered like fish in a barrel. If everyone in the theater had even a small pistol, those 8 monsters would have been taken down quickly. They still would have done some damage, but not as much. NO TO GUN PROHIBITION YES TO WELL ARMED POPULACE
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ