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Kempe carries on after NYC terror attack

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Bermudian Zoe Kempe said yesterday that New York was carrying on as normal in the wake of Tuesday's terror attack.

Ms Kempe vowed to continue with a cookery course in the city despite being less than two streets away from the scene of the mass killing.

She said: “Today, everybody is carrying on — there was a different feeling the day after, but people are carrying on.

“The street has opened up again today. It makes you think — I am really lucky.”

But Ms Kempe added: “There is a sad feeling because there is a little bit of distress in everyone around you.

“When I walked that route that morning I had this feeling of it being such a lovely sunny day, looking at the skyline, thinking how much I love New York and what a wonderful place it is.”

Ms Kempe was on her way back to a friend's apartment in Manhattan's Tribeca area after a class when a terror suspect drove a truck on to a cycle lane killing eight people and injuring 11.

She told The Royal Gazette: “I had my wits about me and ducked into a big department store because I wanted to get off the street in case there were other attacks.

“But you think, I'm not going to go into hiding — I'm just going to carry on. I didn't take the subway anywhere and yesterday I wore my running shoes as a safety precaution in case I needed to get out of anywhere quickly.”

But she added: “I am carrying on with the course, which I am really enjoying and something I can tick off my bucket list.”

She was walking past the One World Trade Centre where the memorial for the 2001 twin towers terror attack stands when she noticed terrified people rushing towards her and a man warned her to turn around.

Ms Kempe said: “I was coming out of class and was walking along West Street on the waterside.

“I usually turn up Chambers Street. I was walking in that direction but as I got a bit closer I saw there were flashing lights and police and people were coming in the opposite direction looking a bit panicked.

“One guy said to me, ‘I wouldn't come this way, there has been a shooting and maybe a terrorist attack'.

“I thought: ‘What?' I was standing near the One World Trade Centre and it was just a bit too close to home. There was a lady with a baby carriage who was running trying to get out of there.

“Just seeing that mother's face — she had her whole world there with her and she just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible. We didn't know about the van at that point but police were just rushing by me on foot and everyone was on high alert.

“I was about a street and a half away at this point so I turned around and went in the opposite direction.”

Ms Kempe later heard that the truck had crashed to a halt near the corner of Chambers Street and West Street.

Ms Kempe said the news was a shock — but she tried to focus on the safest thing to do.

She added: “It was unnerving because I'd walked that route that morning. I would walk along Broadway, along Chambers and along the river on West Street because it is the most scenic route. I immediately thought about Paris when there were various different attacks and mowing down of people — I didn't really want to be on the street.”

She said she stayed in the department store for about half an hour before heading for her friend's apartment, where she is living while in the city.

Ms Kempe managed to send a message to her family before they heard news of the carnage.

Photos taken by Bermudian Zoe Kempe just minutes after the terror attack in New York on Tuesday.
Photos taken by Bermudian Zoe Kempe just minutes after the terror attack in New York on Tuesday.
Photos taken by Bermudian Zoe Kempe just minutes after the terror attack in New York on Tuesday.

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Published November 03, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated November 03, 2017 at 10:47 am)

Kempe carries on after NYC terror attack

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