21 Nov 2015

Man who escaped killings at Bataclan had survived 9/11

An American who escaped from terrorists at the Eagles of Death Metal gig in the Bataclan the night of the Paris attacks had also survived the 9/11 attacks in New York.
The 36-year-old named Matthew was shot in the leg by attackers in the Bataclan, but pretended to be dead and dragged himself to safety as the killers reloaded their weapons.
"I inched forward centimetre by centimetre. At one point, I saw the ledge of the exit at arm's reach," he told French newspaper Le Monde.
"I was able to grip it with one finger, then the other."
Outside he was found by Daniel Psenny, a Le Monde journalist, and another man.
"I was playing dead," Matthew said. "When I felt someone dragging me by the arms, I didn't even look up. I said, or at least in my head – 'I love you, my angel.'" 
Mr Psenny, who had been in his apartment filming concert goers as they rushed from the scene, was able to drag him to safety, but was shot and injured by one of the gunmen as he did so.
Mr Psenny said that he had acted "instinctively".
"I had the human reflex not to let someone die in front of me, but it was the circumstances that allowed it," he said.
"If I had been under machine gun fire, I no doubt wouldn't have come to get Matthew."
The two remained in the Mr Psenny's flat for hours before police allowed local residents to leave the building and the injured pair were taken by ambulance to George Pompidou hospital.
Matthew's wife had been supposed to go with him to the concert, but remained at home as they could not find a babysitter that night.
It also emerged that Matthew's lucky escape was his second - he had been in the street below the World Trade Centre in New York during the September 11 attacks in 2001.
He had been heading to a work meeting when a United Airlines plane struck one of the twin towers.
"I sprinted across half of Manhattan," he said. "But what I went through in the Bataclan was 1,000 times worse," he said.


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