Friday, August 21, 2015

Shots in the Thalys: “We came close to disaster” – Le Monde

Police Station in Arras, 21 August.

The passengers of Thalys, which took place a shooting which caused two injuries, Friday, August 21, waiting patiently outside the room Weavers, Arras. It is 21 h 30. Grouped in a gym a few meters from the station, they reminisce the journey between Paris and Amsterdam that could turn into a nightmare. “We came close to catastrophe,” and tells a Brussels, still in shock. Because of the stifling heat inside the building, most of the passengers wait routed on the external markets. While Red Cross distributes water bottles and food trays.

“The alarm beep rang for about a minute 30 to 17: 30 pm while the train was traveling Slow and stopped rowing “ says a passenger installed right next to the train, where the tragedy occurred. “From the window, I then saw people jumping from the train, to curl on the side” says a Dutchman.

Read also: Shots in a Thalys: that we know the suspect

“In these times, we do not ask questions”

Margaux, backpack, returning from a conference in Antwerp. “It’s in the food wagon I learned that first started shooting, a second person had tried in vain to neutralize before warning the flight attendant and a American has immobilized the assailant “, she explains. She saw an injured covered in blood with two bullet holes evacuated by ambulance, followed by two other men “one with a seemingly torn shirt with a knife and the other covered in blood perfusion was evacuated sit “.

Anthony, an Australian trip with her daughter, also saw one of the wounded who asked a first aid kit. “But cabin crew was not there, the only people reflex was to run in the opposite side, in such times, we do not ask questions” , raconte- he, stressing that the attacker was quickly arrested by the police

Read also:. Thalys tribute to “two heroes” Americans who neutralized the shooter

Once all the passengers and headed down the gym, deminers were then thoroughly searched the train to ensure it did not contain a bomb. It took a good two hours before the instructions from falling: the passengers had to submit “their identity papers and train ticket to leave evidence from police missioned there. And of course, demonstrate any evidence that could help investigators “, shouted an officer in the room, immediately widely applauded by his congregation.

The passengers of Thalys were grouped in a gym close to the Arras station, 21 August.


Since the police suspected a terrorist attack, the passengers were asked to wait. The minister, arrived there around 21: 30 pm, was towards the gym when he turned around to intervene on live TV in front of the station of Arras. It will make no appearance in the gym. If passengers feel they have been well taken care of, some consider that they were not very well informed. “is more easily obtained information via the internet by our smartphones and call our loved that shipboard personnel” , regret a young student.

The atmosphere within gym still remains relaxed. Some argue, sitting on the floor. Others are installed on the stands. Eight young women have moved in a circle and keep smiling. “There was a lot of solidarity paradoxically: a lady who shares the cake she had made, a child attendant who kept the smile, a prefect who called the families to reassure them” explain Julie and Manu, from Amsterdam. All passengers should win Paris at night.

Gaetane Deljurie (Arras, special correspondent)


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