A man trapped in the Bataclan concert hall in Paris on Friday as Islamic jihadists killed people one by one believes he was saved from certain death because of his prosthetic leg.
“I don’t know why I’m alive,” Philonenko Gregoire told the BBC. “Only for my legs.”
Gregoire was lying on the floor with hundreds of others as the jihadists methodically worked their way through the crowd, the New York Post reported.
“He was on the floor, legs bent and the terrorist kicked his leg to see if he was dead,” the man’s daughter, Valentine, told Euronews. “My dad gasped a little bit.”
“The man did it again, twice or three times again,” she said. “What happened next? The man stopped beside him, he fired shots just 30 centimeters [12 inches] from his head.”
Gregoire saw a red laser from the gun pointed at the forehead of a man next to him, who was then killed.
Another survivor, the boyfriend of Isobel Bowdery, who posted online her own harrowing story of playing dead while lying in “the blood of strangers,” shared his story on Facebook.
Amaury Baudoin said he and Bowdery were near the stage when they heard a loud noise.
“Like everyone else I first thought to firecrackers, harmless, which would be part of the show,” he wrote.
Baudoin and a few others hid in the bathroom and could hear people screaming as the gunmen shot. He and Bowdery had become separated and he thought of her, but “doubted” that she was still alive.
Police would eventually arrive and clear them to leave the building — Baudoin described the dance floor as they walked past it on their way out.
“It wasn’t a scene of war, it was a slaughterhouse,” he said. “There were bodies everywhere.”
Despite his traumatic experience, Baudoin called on the world to stand up to terrorists.
“The war they lead is that of fear,” he said. “Show them we are not afraid and that we are not prepared to fall into the sign of hatred.”
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