Hundreds queue to donate blood after Paris attacks

People queue to give blood at a makeshift centre in Paris. Pic: Steve Parsons/PA

People queue to give blood at a makeshift centre in Paris. Pic: Steve Parsons/PA

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Hundreds of Parisians have queued for hours to give blood in the wake of terrorist attacks in the French capital.

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Long, snaking queues formed at the donation centre opposite La Carillon bar and bistro, in Paris, where 14 people were gunned down as they spent their Friday evening.

Emergency staff at the centre said they were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, less than 12 hours after the massacre.

The attacks across Paris left at least 127 people dead and scores more seriously injured.

The cause of the donation spree was only too obvious to those who spent their day queuing, with people winding around the pavement to avoid the blood-splattered stones beneath their feet.

One donor, 29-year-old William Haddad, who lives 500 metres from the bistro, said: “There were attacks yesterday, and a lot of people died and were injured. They need help.

“I am in good health, I am in good shape, and so I can give blood.

“It’s the least I can do to help them and probably save lives.

“I’ve been waiting an hour but I don’t mind waiting. I’ve got all day. They have said it might take a while but I don’t care.

“I haven’t given blood in about three years so it is a good time to start again.

“We have to help, to have this sense of belonging.

“We belong together and we have to be strong.

“We have to fight with everything we have, with our health and with our blood.”

Regulars at Le Carillon laid flowers and lit candles at the front of the venue, which bore the full extent of one of last night’s terror attacks.

Bullet holes peppered the thick glass windows, while urgent attempts to cover up the blood-soaked streets outside had limited success.

Etienne Athea, 34, said he heard the moment the terrorists opened fire on the unassuming customers.

The photographer said: “I live on this street and yesterday I listened to the people with the guns. I don’t understand what happened.

“It was like a movie, I thought it was my TV, I didn’t know what was happening. I saw the emergency people, we have a hospital here. I saw the bodies. I am scared.

“It is very important for me to come here. I wanted to say goodbye. I wanted to say I am with you, I will never forget.

“I am very spiritual so it was important for me to come today.

“We are in France, we are in Europe, it is not normal to think that you can’t go for a drink with your friends because, ‘people will kill me’.”

The scene of the attack in Manchester on Monday night

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