Minnesota students, vacationers shelter in Paris following terror attacks


Minnesotans vacationing and studying in Paris are considering their next steps following a series of terror attacks on Friday put the city on lockdown.

The Star Tribune reports that the University of Minnesota had contacted with seven out of eight of its students currently studying in the French capital by Friday night. They are all safe and have been told to follow government advice to take shelter for now.

The remaining student – one of three studying abroad for the fall semester – was reached on Saturday and is also safe, FOX 9 reports.

There were six separate terror attacks in Paris Friday evening that killed 128 people and wounded over 180 more, the New York Times reports, with the Islamic State on Saturday claiming responsibility for the attacks.

It has prompted a national emergency in the city and the French borders have been tightened, after initially being closed in the immediate wake of the attacks.

Paris vacationers plot a route home

Several Minnesotans are currently in Paris on vacation, among them Peter and Maria Adkisson of Duluth, who told KBJR 6 they intend to stay in their hotel room until they can figure out when they can return home, with their flight back due to leave today.

They told the TV station they had just returned to their hotel – just a few blocks away from where some of the explosions took place – when they heard sirens and alarms going off outside, and turned on the television to see the tragedy unfolding.

Last night Paris implemented a mandatory curfew, with the Adkissons' saying the streets were "eerily empty," with Peter saying: "I was just sitting in bed reading a book, and I kept hearing constant sirens.

"All night, since we got back, which wasn't necessarily unusual, because you do hear a lot of sirens when you're in Paris, and then it suddenly clicked why there were these non–stop sirens going."

BringMeTheNews spoke Friday with Chaska couple Michael and Lisa Heuer who noticed heavily armed guards on their metro train back to their hotel, where they realized what was going on.

They are due to depart on the next leg of their vacation later this weekend, heading to Barcelona.

On Saturday, he said there was a "very somber mood" at their hotel in the morning.

"We did venture out to the city to see the sights and were greeted with a string police and military presence," he added. "Flights are leaving the country so we are confident our flight will go as planned to Barcelona tomorrow morning."

Another person in Paris is Twin Cities executive Melissa Scaia, who told the Star Tribune she was in an Uber car between the Louvre and her hotel when the attacks took place, and saw a lot of police action and major traffic delays in the downtown area.

Although several flights due to depart the U.S. bound for France were initially held in the wake of the attacks, the Pioneer Press notes that the evening Delta service from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Paris Charles De Gaulle took off as usual.

And The Daily Telegraph reports that flights, trains and ferries heading to and from France are still running, albeit with hugely increased security.

USA Today is reporting though that there are long lines at Paris Charles De Gaulle airport because of the tightened border restrictions.

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