Amsterdam reporter barely escaped Paris Attacks

Suzan Yucel
Suzan Yücel (photo: Suzan Yücel/Twitter). (Suzan Yücel (photo: Suzan Yücel/Twitter))

Amsterdam-based journalist Suzan Yücel narrowly avoided injury . The AT5 reporter was supposed to eat dinner at Petit Le Cambodge with a friend, and had a pre-dinner drink at Le Carillon while waiting for a table to open up.

Moments later, both locations were sprayed with bullets fired from automatic weapons. At least 12 people were killed at the two locations on Rue Alibert in the 10th district of the French capital.

Her French friend brought Yücel to the Cambodian restaurant at about 9 p.m. on Friday, remarking that, “The food is awfully good there,” she told newspaper Parool. The two were disappointed they could not sit at the last remaining empty table, reserved instead for two men who had arrived a bit earlier.

After putting their name on the wait list, the women ducked into the crowded bar next door for a beer on their terrace. It was at that moment they heard a hail of gunfire at the restaurant.

Yücel did not know what the sound was, but her friend, deeply affected by the editorial office in January, grabbed Yücel and took off running.

Every time Yücel tried to turn around to see what was going on, her friend pulled her along, gained composure, and even apologized to Yücel for panicking, Yücel told the newspaper.

They ducked into a restaurant, where they found out ten people were shot, and wound up in a friend’s house watching the events unfold on television. It was at that moment she managed to get a message out on Twitter saying she was safe.

A wave of emotions took over when she found out Le Carillon was also targeted, causing her to scream out.

As the dust settled, she made her way back to the scene Saturday morning, which made her “even more aware of how lucky” she and her friend were. She posted a series of photos : Le Carillon is riddled with bullet holes, window panes shattered, bunches of flowers at the entrance, and sawdust to soak up the blood that covered the terrace where hours earlier revellers enjoyed their drinks.

“I keep thinking of all the victims and their families. Hope that all the offenders languish in hell, if it exists,” she wrote after seeing the aftermath.