Paris music venue was like ‘Dante’s inferno’, says police officer

PARIS – It was like “Dante’s inferno” at the Bataclan music venue in Paris where jihadist gunmen mowed down 89 rock fans within a couple of hours, one of the first police officers at the scene told AFP on Wednesday.

It took the first squad from the crack BRI police unit 35 minutes to reach the scene of the worst violence wreaked Friday by three teams of gunmen and suicide bombers at the national stadium, the music hall, and cafes and restaurants, the officer said.

“At 9:40 pm we got the first calls saying there were explosions at the Stade de France and shooting in central Paris,” said the officer, speaking on condition of anonymity.

At 10:00 pm the first BRI team left the city’s riverside headquarters in the heart of Paris “with a little equipment”, setting foot in the Bataclan entrance hall in the east of the city 15 minutes later, he said.

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