NEWS
16/11/2015 05:01 GMT | Updated 16/11/2015 05:59 GMT

Channel 4 Reporter Matt Frei Caught Up In Mass Crowd Panic After Paris Attacks

This is the moment when hundreds of terrified people ran towards a journalist while he was he was reporting live in the centre of Paris, fearing someone had been shot.

Panic broke out in the city centre on Sunday as mourners payed their respect at the sites of terror attacks that killed 129 people and have left more than 300 wounded.

Channel 4 News's Europe Editor Matt Frei was standing near the Place de la Republique when hundreds of people suddenly rushed past him.

Frei was reporting live from the square when his broadcast was interrupted by the large group who had panicked after a false alarm, as the city reels from the wave of brutal violence.

In the dramatic video, Frei jumps to the side of the TV camera but continues to present, saying "There's something going on, people are running.... People are running away."

"Qu'est-ce qui se passe?" (What has happened?) he asks in French, but the people ignore him and keep running fearfully.

"People are running, people are shooting maybe, I [think I] just heard a shot but I'm not sure if that's true," Frei says as he continues to narrate the scene.

Journalists for the US magazine Variety were also caught up in the panic while eating dinner at the Cafe du Centre, near to the Place de la Republique. They described being "nearly trampled" when a crowd pushed their way into a restaurant and "terror went surging through the room".

Variety writer Peter Debrgue said:

"Out of nowhere, around 6:30 p.m., a crowd of people came rushing into the restaurant from the street outside. A wave of what I can only describe as terror went surging through the room as strangers pushed their way inside, screaming and ducking for cover, forcing a mass of furniture and dishes and bodies onto the floors as they sought protection — but from what? Was this another attack?

"In the melee, I felt myself hurled from my chair and pushed to the back of the restaurant. As I tried to make my way back to my companion, who sat huddled beneath the table where we’d been dining moments before, a man bleeding from his forehead stumbled into the room. A woman torn apart from her young son cried out his name. Another flattened against the tile floor near us reached out a trembling hand, seeking connection amid the fear.

"For several minutes, we sat there, surrounded by broken plates and glasses, scanning the room and the windows all around for clues. It wasn’t just our restaurant that had been affected, but others in the street — and apparently elsewhere in Paris as well."

Photo gallery Panic after Paris attacks false alarm See Gallery

PARIS: WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR:

  • 129 dead, 352 injured, 99 critically
  • Restaurants, football stadium, rock concert attacked
  • Attacker named as 29-year-old Omar Ismail Mostefai
  • French border controls increased, state of emergency declared
  • Seven extremists in three teams carried out attacks
Photo gallery Victims of the Paris attacks named See Gallery
Photo gallery London Reacts To Paris Terror Attacks See Gallery