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Swede caught up in Paris mass panic

Published måndag 16 november 2015 kl 19.08
"I don't want to flee from Paris"
(5:43 min)
Bild på Gustav Gällhagen, infälld i en bild från Paris, där människor samlats i närheten av platserna för terrordådet. Foto: Privat / Jan Andersson, Sveriges Radio
Gustav Gällhagen is a student living in Paris. Photo: Private / Jan Andersson, Sveriges Radio

A Swedish student in Paris tells Radio Sweden about the tense atmosphere in the city following Friday's attacks and about how a "false alarm" caused panic in the capital.

Gustav Gällhagen, a Swede who is studying French in Paris, tells Radio Sweden that he was near the Place de la Republique  two days after 132 people were killed and several hundred wounded in multiple terrorist attacks. A "false alarm" caused hundreds of people to flee from a gathering in honour of the victims.

Gällhagen was in a store when panicked Parisians ran in to take cover after hearing the sound of what they thought was yet another explosion.

Gällhagen, his girlfriend, two of their friends and a Frenchman with his two sons all hid in a small bathroom at the back of the store.

"We locked the door, shut the light and started whispering,” said Gällhagen. “We also put our heads down and tried to make sure that nobody would panic."

Asked how he feels about being in Paris now, Gällhagen said: "It got really scary yesterday but a good thing is I now know that if something will happen again - and it probably will - then everyone will take care of each other because there was no question about it in the store."

Gällhagen has thought about returning to Sweden. "It crossed my mind,” he said, “but I don't want to flee from Paris... I kind of feel like I'm part of the French people right now, and  I want to be here with them."

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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