Photojournalist Steve McCurry Recalls ‘Chaos’ at the Stade de France During Paris Attacks

Photojournalist Steve McCurry Recalls ‘Chaos’ at the Stade de France During Paris Attacks

Paris1Famed photojournalist Steve McCurry was one of 80,000 people inside the Stade de France watching a France-Germany friendly on Friday, November 13th, 2015. Twenty minutes into the match, three suicide bombers detonated explosive vests just outside of the national stadium as one part of a string of ‘highly coordinated’ terrorist attacks across Paris, France.

McCurry, most known for his 1984 National Geographic portrait ‘Afghan Girl,’ spoke to CBS News on Saturday, recounting the ‘mayhem and chaos’ that unfolded.

In the two and a half minute interview, McCurry solemnly describes what was going through the mind of him and those around him. ‘We heard the explosions […] we thought it was part of some show […] and then we started to leave suddenly.’

An iPhone photo captured by McCurry during the France-Germany friendly
An iPhone photo captured by McCurry during the France-Germany friendly

McCurry says that little by little people started receiving text messages on their phones, presumably explaining what had just taken place outside the stadium. It was then than a stampede started, as people rushed for the exits.

‘I was going to die,’ McCurry said, ‘because I was getting pushed down to the ground.’ Eventually, McCurry found a section of wall to stay behind until he found his way out of the stadium two hours later.

This isn’t the first time McCurry has been present at the time of terrorist attacks. As he notes in the video, McCurry was also present at Ground Zero on September 11th, 2001. According to him, ‘[the Stadium attacks] reminded me of 9/11 […] It was just people fleeing for their lives and I saw people getting knocked down. It was an horrific scene.’

[via Amateur Photographer]

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