Christian Hartmann / Reuters

Chaos and horror described after Paris rock concert attack

Several heavily armed attackers storm Paris concert hall where California band Eagles of Death Metal was playing

Chaos and horror broke out at a Paris music venue Friday night as gunmen opened fire on concertgoers during simultaneous attacks that killed an estimated 120 people across the city. A brother of one member of the band — Eagles of Death Metal, a California-based rock group touring Europe — relayed his brother’s account of panic and indiscriminate shooting.

Several men stormed the Bataclan concert hall, firing assault rifles inside the venue, which was packed to capacity with about 1,500 people. 

At least some of the band members were able to escape, according to an account given by the brother of one of the band members to a local Atlanta television news channel. A spokesman for Eagles of Death Metal later told Rolling Stone that none of the band members were among those killed during the attack on the venue. 

"He said they were playing, about six songs into the show. They heard, before they saw anything, they heard automatic machine gun fire,” Michael Dorio, brother of drummer Julian, an Atlanta native, told WSBTV.

“It was so loud, it was louder than the band, and they hit the stage floor. As they got up to try to evacuate, they saw men with machine guns just shooting anything and everything in the venue,” the channel quoted Dorio as saying.

Many of the audience members at the Bataclan were able to escape, leaving about 100 people held hostage by the attackers for several hours inside. In total, authorities say at least 120 people across Paris are dead and some of the attackers remain at large. About 80 of the dead were found at the Bataclan after authorities overcame the attackers and ended the siege.

An earlier post on the group’s Facebook profile had said, “We are still currently trying to determine the safety and whereabouts of all our band and crew. Our thoughts are with all of the people involved in this tragic situation.”

As that attack unfolded inside the Bataclan, gunmen shot at least a dozen diners at a Cambodian restaurant nearby, and two deadly explosions hit at the Stade de France, where the French and German soccer teams were facing off. 

French police said that dozens of other people were killed and wounded at the restaurant and other sites across the city.

The chaos inside the club sent hundreds out into the streets, shaken and terrified. Several hours later, after reports of the hostage-takers killing some of captives, French forces raided the venue. An Al Jazeera reporter said medics were bringing in “piles” of stretchers to remove the dead. 

Some of the attackers were killed, but the death toll and total number of shooters and bombers remained unknown Friday night. 

Eagles of Death Metal is a rock band, founded in 1998 by two members of Queens of the Stone Age, Josh Homme and Jesse Hughes, according to Billboard. The band was on tour promoting its new album, Zipper Down.

Rock superstars U2 on Friday canceled the band's planned November 14 concert in Paris following news of the attack.

French President Francois Hollande has ordered a state of emergency across the country.

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