As of Nov. 13 8:27 p.m. EST, France has declared a state of emergency and closed its borders following multiple shootings, explosions, and a hostage situation in Bataclan, a concert hall located in Paris. The shootings were first reported near the north east of the city at Le Petit Cambodge restaurant, Le Carillon bar, and La Belle Equipe bar. Masked men were reported to have been shooting in all directions from a car. At least six shootings and three explosions have taken place in locations around the city. The French President Francois Hollande is currently outside the Bataclan in support of survivors according to BBC News Live reporting. Paris prosecutor says five attackers may be dead in attacks across the city according to Associated Press.
So far the police have reported over 118 dead. Paris residents have been asked to stay indoors, a hashtag on twitter #PorteOuverte has popped up by the citizens to alert people on the street of safe homes to evacuate to. Facebook has activated its “Safety Check” feature for citizens to let their friends and family know that they are safe. https://www.facebook.com/safetycheck/paris_terror_attacks/
“1500 soldiers drafted in. Hospitals have now moved to nationwide emergency plan.” According to Christian Fraser BBC’s former Paris correspondent.
At the Bataclan a Californian band, Eagles of Death Metal were playing and about six songs in, two to three men came in holding what was described to be AK-47’s and fired into the crowd. The gunfire was said to last about 10-15 minutes allowing the attackers to reload three times. The police stormed the club a few hours after and were able to secure the Bataclan, two gunmen have been killed. Over 100 are pronounced dead. Witnesses report ambulances leaving to the hospital every few minutes.
Several of the explosions occurred near the Stade de France, where the French football team was playing against the Germans. The French president was in attendance but quickly evacuated after noise of an explosion. Witnesses say the match continued on but with much of the crowd focused on twitter. Spectators congregated on the pitch after reports of an explosion nearby according to European journalist Maxime Dupuis. Everyone has now since been evacuated. The German football team currently remains inside the Statde de France according to BBC Sports editor Dan Roan.
In a press conference President Barack Obama commented on the attack “Paris itself represents timeless values of human progress. Those who think they can terrorize the people of France or the values that they stand for are wrong. The American people draw strength from the French peoples commitment to life liberty and pursuit of happiness.” The New York Police Department, NYPD has deployed additional police around the city as a public reassurance, with a concentration on the French government locations. https://twitter.com/NYPDnews/status/665312706388484097
All schools in the region have now been reported as closed for tomorrow.
Wilson College has a student from France, the community is praying for the safety of her family and friends.
This is a developing story.
UPDATE 9:20 p.m. :
BBC News reports, “French police say four attackers were killed at the Bataclan concert hall, including three who died by detonating their suicide belts.”
According to BBC News, 55 remain in critical condition:
“Le Parisien has a list of the deaths and injuries at the various attack sites around Paris, which it sources to the French authorities.
Bataclan: at least 100 dead, seven people in a critical condition, four others injured
Rue Charonne: 19 dead, 13 people in a critical condition, 10 others injured
Rue Bichat: 14 dead, 10 in a critical condition, 10 others injured
Avenue de la Republique: Four dead, 11 in a critical condition, 10 others injured
Stade de France: four dead, 11 in a critical condition, 39 others injured
Rue Beaumarchais: three people in a critical condition, four others injuries”
The World Trade Center is illuminated in the French tricolore in show of support.
UPDATE 9:50 p.m. :
The Associated Press reports that the head of Paris police says all attackers are believed to be dead.
French exchange students are gathering in NY’s Union Center singing and holding candles in a show of support for each other and their loved ones back home.
UPDATE 11:23 p.m. :
A representative for the band Eagles of Death Metal told Rolling Stone that “there were no fatalities within the band”.