Manitoba

Winnipeg woman safe after scare in Paris at Place de la République

A Winnipeg woman who is living in Paris is taking cover at her friend's apartment following panic at the city's Place de la République.

She says the city is confused about what's going on but she does not feel in danger

A still shot from panic that erupted at Place de la République in Paris on Sunday.

A Winnipeg woman who is living in Paris is taking cover at her friend's apartment following panic at the city's Place de la République.

Chaos broke out as people ran from crowds around the square following the sound of firecrackers, which some believed to be gunshots.

Helga Jakobson and her friends — all students — went to a vigil on Sunday at Notre Dame and then to the Louvre.

"It was very nice. I think a lot of people are happy to be coming together. It's been very quiet the last couple of days," she said.

"Yesterday was fairly sombre; it was very quiet all over the city. Going in the metros you could hear a pin drop which is very unusual."

Shortly after arriving at the Louvre, they heard sirens and helicopters before the crowds broke up at Place de la République.

"I checked my phone a moment ago and it said the police are looking for a suspect at République and crowds are moving very quickly," Jakobson told CBC.

"So we just decided that it was wise [to go inside]. You know, again not because we're completely, like we're not feeling terrorized or something, we were just feeling that better safe than sorry." 

Jakobson described confusion among the masses as people struggle to identify what it happening in the city.

"You're trying to figure out what's happening and there isn't a lot of information because people aren't really sure what's happening," she said.

Still, she said she doesn't feel in danger.

"I'm with a good group of friends and I don't feel unsafe," she said.

"I know that the city's very prepared at the moment. There have been guards all over the city, armies all over the ground, so I don't feel fearful. I just think it's wise to be aware and alert."

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