Sunday 22 September 2019

'The building was trembling underneath me... the third floor apartment had exploded' - witnesses of Saint-Denis raid

Sam Dean

A father in the Paris building raided by police said he was told to evacuate his apartment because it was about to blow up.

The witness to the raid was asleep in the suburb of Saint-Denis when he woke to the sounds of cries and gunshots.

"I was afraid," he said. "My son heard and he was crying a lot. I tried to calm him down but he was crying and then he did calm down.

"The police arrived and they said, 'Get out quick! This building is going to blow up'."

"I said, 'What is going on? What are we doing? I need to get things from there. I have things in there: nappies for my son, bank cards'.

"I wanted to get my money and get out of there.

"I threw myself on the floor and lay under the bed. I was scared and I waited - that is normal when you hear everyone firing, firing, firing.

"I thought if I left my house, they will kill me. While I was waiting the building was trembling underneath me. When I looked up, I saw that the third floor apartment had exploded, but I did not leave. I was scared. You do not know what to do.

"I was on the first floor but I did not see the police. I kept on thinking, 'Where are the police?', then I realised it was the police firing in the stairwell, not the terrorists, so they could take the terrorists and hit them. I was under the bed."

PA Media

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