A security guard outside of the 80,000 seat Stade de France stadium in Paris, France saved countless lives after stopping a suicide bomber from entering.
One security guard, who is being identified by his first name Zouheir, said that the attacker, who had a ticket to the game, was found with a suicide vest on while trying to enter 15 minutes after the French vs. German exhibition game started. When the terrorist was discovered with a suicide vest he detonated it, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. (RELATED: Paris Attacker Was A Syrian ‘Refugee’)
Police believe the suspect’s ultimate goal was to detonate the vest inside the stadium in order to kill as many people as possible. A few minutes later, another suicide bomber killed himself outside of the stadium.
From the Wall Street Journal:
The blasts occurred during the first half of the game, sowing confusion throughout the stadium. At least two blasts were heard clearly inside the stadium, witnesses said, and on the television broadcast. Loud blasts aren’t uncommon at soccer matches on the European continent where fans sometimes set off firecrackers.
At first, Zouheir said he too thought the early blast was a firecracker. Then his walkie-talkie came alive with chatter, and he noticed that French President François Hollande—who was in attendance at the Stade de France—was being ushered out of the stadium.
“Once I saw Hollande being evacuated, I knew it wasn’t firecrackers,” said Zouheir, who could see the VIP box from his post. He added that President Hollande left after the first blast.
Zouheir wasn’t the only person who thought at first the bombs might have been firecrackers. Pierre Tissier, an attendee, also initially thought the blasts were simply firecrackers and said, “During the second half I started getting news alerts about attacks in Paris, but I didn’t make the connection immediately.” (RELATED: The Sports Community Responds To The Paris Terrorist Attacks)
Germany manager Joachim Löw feared the worst immediately. “Of course we thought of it. It was very loud. You could imagine what had happened,” Löw said. The German team flew home after spending the night secured in Stade de France.
The attacks left more than 100 dead and many more wounded. (RELATED: French Authorities Secure Concert Hall: 12 Freed, 118 Dead)