Emma Parkinson shares a terrifying story of survival on 60 Minutes.
When Australian teenager Emma Parkinson purchased last-minute tickets to a sold out gig on Friday the 13th November in Paris, she thought she’d lucked out. Little did she know, she’d just bought her way into one of the most horrific terrorist attacks in Europe’s history.
Tonight on 60 Minutes, Emma spoke to Ross Coulthart about how the attacks unfolded, her fight for survival, and the scars she’ll always carry from her experience in the Bataclan.
When gunshots began ringing around the Bataclan theatre at an Eagles of Death Metal concert, Emma Parkinson assumed – like many other concert-goers – that the noise was a firework let off by an over-enthusiastic fan.
“I thought for a second someone had fireworks. You know, like just little fireworks that you buy at the supermarket,” Emma told Coulthart.
“I remember thinking, ‘What an idiot. Who does that at a concert?’ But I remember thinking that something wasn’t right, and trying to drop down to the ground. And it didn’t take long for other people to do that, as well. And I looked back at one point and that’s just a really weird image. Almost a thousand people just on the floor, like that, in a concert hall.”
As the shots continued, the realisation began to dawn on the people in the hall that something was seriously wrong.
“They would fire and then it would stop for, I don’t know, five seconds maybe, and we’d think it was over. And people would start putting their heads up, looking around and then it would start again and everyone would get back down.”
“And then at one moment one person yelled that we should run. And I don’t know if we would have if that person hadn’t said. And of course he was right, you can’t just wait there. So, I ran towards the barrier.”