A young woman’s chilling account of survival on the night of the deadly Paris attacks has swept across the Internet.
Isobel Bowdery was at the Bataclan concert hall Friday night, one of the targets of the coordinated attacks that left 129 dead in the French capital.
READ MORE: Paris attacks: What happened inside Bataclan concert hall?
“You never think it will happen to you,” her post begins. “It was just a Friday night at a rock show. The atmosphere was so happy and everyone was dancing and smiling.”
Bowdery, 22, said at first when three men strapped with explosives entered the hall and started shooting, she and others “naively believed it was all part of the show.”
Soon, she said, it was all too apparent that a “massacre” was underway.
“Dozens of people were shot right in front of me. Pools of blood filled the floor. Cries of grown men who held their girlfriend’s dead bodies pierced the small music venue. Futures demolished, families heartbroken. In an instant.
“Shocked and alone, I pretended to be dead for over an hour, lying among people who could see their loved ones motionless. Holding my breath, trying to not move, not cry —; not giving those men the fear they longed to see. I was incredibly lucky to survive. But so many didn’t.”
She wrote that as she “lay down in the blood of strangers and waiting for my bullet” she envisioned the faces of loved ones, and reflected on good memories of her life.
“The images of those men circling us like vultures will haunt me for the rest of my life.”
READ MORE: Paris attacks: What we know so far about the victims
Eighty-nine people died in the concert hall attack, and many more wounded. Police were eventually able to take control of the hall, and the three attackers were killed by police gunfire and the gunmen’s self-detonated explosives. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the Bataclan and other attacks.
VIDEO: Footage captures moment gunshots heard at Bataclan, band flees stage
Bowdery writes that as a survivor she feels compelled to share the stories of the “heroes” who helped her: the man who reassured her and shielded her, the police who rescued her and others in the concert hall, to the “complete strangers” who picked her up and consoled her after the attack, the woman who opened her doors to offer shelter to strangers and even bought Bowdery new clothes to wear so she could change out of her bloodied shirt.
And she pays tribute to those who lost their lives.
READ MORE: Paris attacks: French President calls for 3-month extension of state of emergency
“Last night, the lives of many were forever changed and it is up to us to be better people. To live lives that the innocent victims of this tragedy dreamt [sic] about but sadly will now never be able to fulfill. RIP angels. You will never be forgotten.”
Along with her story Bowdery posted a picture of her now blood-stained white shirt in a Facebook post which has been widely shared.
Bowdery, a graduate of the University of Cape Town, was at the concert with her boyfriend who was struck with shrapnel and injured; the two were separated in the chaos. In his Facebook post on the attack, Amaury Baudoin urges the world to “come together”.
“It isn’t France which is being targeted, it’s Freedom, your Freedom so I urged you to come together. The war they’re waging is the war of fear. Show them that we’re not afraid and that we won’t fall into the grips of hatred.”
Global News reached out to Bowdery for comment, but did not receive a response by time of publication.