Australian Bataclan Theatre Survivor Emma Parkinson Talks About Paris Attacks

22/11/2015 5:24 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
60 Minutes

The young Tasmanian woman who was injured in the Bataclan Theatre massacre in the Paris Attacks has spoken for the first time about what happened inside the theatre.

In an exclusive interview with Ross Coulthart on 60 Minutes tonight, Emma Parkinson -- who left hospital earlier this week -- talks about the moment four terrorists started shooting in the crowded theatre where the US band Eagles of Death Metal were playing.

"I thought someone had fireworks -- you know, just the little ones you buy at a supermarket -- and I remember thinking, what an idiot, who does that at a concert?"

But when it became clear that people around her were dropping to the floor to try to avoid being shot, she said "almost 1000 people were on the floor.

"You'd think it was over, and people would start putting their heads up and looking around, and then it would start up again and everyone would get back down," she says.

According to Ross Coulthart, a young man pushed Parkinson's head under his body -- "which is an incredible thing to do" he told Channel 9's The Today Show.

"People are being murdered around her, and somebody yells 'Run! Run!' and she gets up and starts running," he said.

Parkinson says she started running towards a barrier, and it was when she was trying to get over it that she was shot in the upper thigh.

"I ran towards this barrier bent over like that but I got stuck, sort of like people around, Because they were I couldn't get my legs up, and that's when I was shot. It came through my head, It just sort of 'OK. I've been shot.

"I thought, 'got to keep going.' And so I kept going."

She said she was lucky because her important organs seemed to be protected by being bent over the barrier.

Parkinson said she ran from the Bataclan Theatre into a side street with a group of people that took refuge in a nearby residential building where they waited for two hours, not sure if they were safe. The group comforted each other until firemen helped them to a nearby cafe for triage.

When asked if how she felt about the men who were trying to kill her, she said:

"They weren't trying to kill me. I have nothing to do with it. I was just incidentally there... They were targeting young people who were doing what young people do, laughing and being happy," she said.

She thought the only reason that specific demographic was targeted was to incite fear and hate, and to make people afraid.

"Those people must've been sick," she said. "No sane person, no healthy person, can walk into a room full of people having fun and start shooting at them."

Parkinson is on her way back to Tasmania with her Mum, according to Coulthart.

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