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, AFP reports.
Pierre Janaszak, a radio presenter, was sitting in the balcony at the Bataclan concert hall 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 said.
“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.
Paul Taylor, a British comedian living in Paris, was about to go on stage at a club close to one of the restaurants that was attacked.
He told the BBC he saw people running towards the venue “crying and not really knowing what was happening, just in shock”.
“After asking them what had happened, they said they had seen some people drive up to a restaurant about 100 metres down the road and just shoot people who were sitting down.
Jonathon Hill from Cardiff is currently working in Paris. He says he saw a man directing people into the Bataclan concert hall:
“I was getting cash out of an ATM outside the Metro station which is probably about 50-70 yards away from the Bataclan itself. As I was collecting my cash, I heard three distinct firing shots that at first I didn’t believe were actual shots from a gun. They almost sounded like fireworks cracking off in the middle of the street.
“And while that happened I saw a guy probably 6ft 4 to 6ft 5, quite a heavy-set man, looked Caucasian from about 50 yards away. And he was in the middle of the street shouting “Allez! Allez!” at people. He almost seemed to be a good Samaritan telling people to get out of from the cafes and go inside. As that happened I saw another shot and I saw someone collapse to the floor outside the Bataclan.”
Pierre Montfort lives near Petit Cambodge, a restaurant close to Rue Bichat, where one of the shootings took place.
“We heard gunfire, 30 seconds of fire, it was interminable, we thought it was fireworks,” he told AFP.
An eyewitness who had been at the restaurant said everyone dropped on the floor.
“A girl was carried by a young man in his arms. She appeared to be dead.”