Two U Students in France Safe and Accounted for Following Attacks


By Courtney Tanner

Two U students studying abroad in France this semester were not harmed by the terrorist attacks in the country’s capital Friday night.

Drew Rouse, interning through the Hinckley Institute of Politics, was not in Paris during the rampage that killed at least 132 people. On hearing the news, Rouse texted his friends in the capital to see if they were OK while he watched the news unfold more than 500 miles away in the southern city of Nice.

“It is a tragic day for a country I have come to love, and I express my sincere condolences for the people of Paris,” he said via email.

Rouse has been in the country for about six weeks and is working with Team Côte d’Azur, an economic development agency in France.

The U’s Learning Abroad program had one student in Lyon, about four hours away from Paris. Beth Laux, director of the office, could not release the student’s name, but said he is safe.

The attacks unfolded at six different sites across the capital, including the Bataclan concert hall, a soccer stadium and a restaurant. French authorities say suicide bombers with the Islamic State orchestrated the killings, according to a report from The Washington Post. A California State University student, Nohemi Gonzalez, was among those killed.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is flying the French tricolor flag at half-staff at the Salt Lake City Temple to honor the victims. There will also be a vigil at the Utah State Capitol tonight starting at 4 p.m.

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