A trip to a photo festival in Paris was cut short for Photography students at UWE as the news broke of devastating terrorist attacks in the city.
129 people have been killed in Paris in a series of terrorist attacks that took place on November 13, 2015.
Bombs were set off around Stade de France and shootings occurred in the Bataclan concert hall, Boulevard Beaumarchais, Avenue de la République, bar Charonne and restaurants Le Petit Cambodge and Le Carillon.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
UWE student Becky Hardy, told us of the moment she heard of the attacks. She said: “The emotions that filled the room were so diverse with some people standing in confusion, one crying from what she was reading and others just not knowing how to feel.”
We rushed back to the hotel, then left the next morning, we stayed at the canal and there was no people about. I didn’t see anything I was just having a meal with my friends and someone told us what happened so we walked back to the hotel. The waitress said there’s been shootings,explosions, people have died, so we paid the bill walked back to the hotel. Everyone contacted parents/friends, we all got together in our room had a drink, finally went to sleep around four! We just all kept up to date on our phones with it all. – Kelly Pinker
UWE Photography students were in Paris from November 12 to visit exhibitions such as the Paris Photo festival. As the attacks were happening on the night of November 13, some of the students were having a meal with their tutors at L’Avenue in Avenue de Laumière, a nearby restaurant to their hostel.
St Christopher’s Inn Canal, where the Photography students were staying, is approximately a mile away from the bomb attack at Stade de France.
UWE students and tutors were alerted of the incidences through their waitress and they left the restaurant. Staff ensured all students were accounted for.
Members of the university trip, which was led by Nick Bright and Amanda Harman, were told to stay inside the hostel as some were planning on going out that night. The students spent an hour phoning relatives to let them know they were safe.
All students were able to get an early ferry from Calais to Dover at 1605 the next day, despite the borders of France being locked down.
Trip leader and senior lecturer in Photography, Nick Bright, said: “We were pleased to bring the student group home safely and are putting in systems with our Wellbeing team to support individual students, whilst our thoughts remain with those in Paris.”
By Richard Peake