Paris attacks: Man who escaped Bataclan ‘survived 9/11’

Police officers stand guard outside the Bataclan theatre in Paris. Picture: AFP/Getty
Police officers stand guard outside the Bataclan theatre in Paris. Picture: AFP/Getty
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AN AMERICAN who was shot and wounded in the Bataclan theatre massacre survived the 9/11 terror attacks in New York, it has been revealed.

The 36-year-old, named only as Matthew, was shot in the leg during the attack at the music venue where the Eagles of Death Metal were performing, and survived by pretending to be dead before dragging himself to safety as the terrorists reloaded their weapons.

Matthew told French newspaper Le Monde that he had inched forward ‘centimetre by centimetre’ before managing to escape the venue.

He was found by Le Monde journalist Daniel Psenny, and another unidentified man.

Matthew revealed that he was playing dead, when he felt someone pulling him away from the venue.

He added: “I didn’t even look up. I said, or at least in my head – ‘I love you, my angel.’”

Psenny had been filming concert-goers from his apartment as they fled the scene, posting his video on Le Monde’s website, before rushing to the venue to help the victims.

He was shot and injured as he dragged Matthew to safety, but insisted that he had acted ‘instinctively’.

Psenny said: “I had the human reflex not to let someone die in front of me, but it was the circumstances that allowed it.

“If I had been under machine gun fire, I no doubt wouldn’t have come to get him.”

The pair remained in Psenny’s flat as Paris police told locals to stay indoors, before being transferred to hospital several hours later.

Matthew - who attended the concert alone while his wife stayed at home to look after their child - revealed that he had a narrow escape during the terrorist attacks in New York on September 11, 2001.

He recalled how he had been in the street below the World Trade Center on his way to a meeting when the first aeroplane struck one of the twin towers.

He said that he had ‘sprinted across half of Manhattan’, adding: “What I went through in the Bataclan was 1,000 times worse.”

A total of 89 people were massacred in the Bataclan theatre, as 130 people died and more than 350 were injured in the co-ordinated attacks across the French capital on November 13.