Two British students who survived the attack on a Paris concert hall have described the horror of the massacre that left 118 people dead. Hanna Corbett and Jack Konda, both 21, were among 1500 people watching Eagles of Death Metal perform on stage at the renowned Paris venue, when four terrorists stormed the building as part of a series of coordinated terror attacks.
Miss Corbett, a third year history student, from Lenton, Nottinghamshire, said that as shots rang out in the concert hall, they initially though it was the sound of fireworks set off as part of the show.
She said: "It was towards the end of the gig and we heard what sounded like firecrackers or fireworks. Everyone thought it was part of the show but then I saw the lead singer's face drop before he ran off stage and the lights came on. When the music stopped, there was this haunting silence in between gunfire and I could see blood on the floor. I'd never heard a gun before and didn't expect it. It felt like the shooters were near to us. People were helping each other and hugging – it was really heartbreaking."
Speaking to the BBC, Miss Corbett described the horror of having to crawl over the bodies of the dead in order to flee the bloodbath taking place around them. "We all just dropped to the floor. We were to the left of the stage in the main standing area and quite near the fire exit. Some managed to crawl out, but there was just a pile of people by the fire exit. We didn't know what we were crawling over.
"Then when we got out there were just people running for their lives. It was quite disturbing."
Mr Konda told the Nottingham Post : "I remember looking up and seeing a guy walking around the perimeter of the room with a gun in his hands. He was just wearing normal clothes like a T-shirt and jeans. And, yeah, we just thought that was it for us.
"It was a bit of a conundrum whether to crawl or stand up and make a bigger target of yourself. It was such a relief when we got out those doors. What happened is so devastating for who died and those who were injured, as well as their families. It puts into perspective just how lucky we were."
The trauma of the ordeal was evident as British passengers arriving on the Eurostar from France, sobbed as they were reunited with their loved ones at London's St Pancras station.
One Briton who has been confirmed to have been killed in the massacre has been named as Nick Alexander. The 36-year-old, who was a merchandiser for the death metal band, was shot and died at the scene in the arms of a friend.
Two other victims have also been identified. London-educated lawyer Valentin Ribet, who studied business law at the London Scool of Economics and American design student Nohemi Gonzalez, 23, a design student from California State University-Long Beach were among the dead.
Miss Conzalaez was studying at the Strate College of Design in Paris as part of her semester abroad when she was killed in one of the restaurant attacks last night. Three other Americans were also injured in the attacks in Paris last night, a US official confirmed.
It has also been confirmed that one Irish citizen was injured in the attack. The Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin said its consular staff were providing assistance to one person after working through the night to monitor the situation with France under a state of emergency.
"In response to last night's terrible events in Paris, department officials in Paris and in Dublin have been working through the night to monitor the situation and provide consular assistance," Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said. The Irish Department for Foreign Affairs said there was no indication that anyone else from Ireland had been caught up in the Islamic State attacks.
Friends and family have taken to social media in a desperate attempt to find their loved ones. Many are retweeting the hashtags #rechercheParis and #RechercheBataclan as 400,000 tweets spread the word.
Paris is still reeling from the shock of Isis's wave of terror, in which gunmen opened fire at a concert, a football stadium, restaurants, as well detonating explosives in suicide bombings. The death toll stands at 129, with 200 injured and many still missing. Officials have said the identities of the dead may not be revealed till next week.
The Foreign Office says those concerned about British nationals caught up in the attacks should call 020 7008 0000.
Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs says anyone concerned about Irish nationals caught up in the attacks should call 01 408 2000.
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