Berkeley Students Among Injured and Dead in France Terrorist Attack
On a Thursday night all of France was celebrating Bastille Day, a commemoration of the French Revolution, when the entire country went up in arms to fight against tyranny.
Unfortunately, it was also a day that would be remembered as a tragedy.
In the city of Nice, a large truck mowed down a crowd of spectators. Over 84 were killed, including children and teenagers, with 303 injured from the attack.
While many of those caught in the terrorist attack, as the French Prime Minister has called it, were originally from France, there were reports of study abroad students among the victims.
Four students from the University of California Berkeley were part of the reported victims:
- Vladyslav Kostiuk, who had a broken leg, was a computer science major in the College of Letters and Science
- Diane Huang, with a broken foot, was also a senior majoring in environmental economics and policy in the College of Natural Resources
- Daryus Medora, who got a broken leg, is a sophomore in the College of Letters and Science
- Nicolas Leslie, a junior in the College of Natural Resources
Of the four, Kostiuk and Huang were already allowed to return to their dormitories. Medora is still in the hospital, recuperating.
Unfortunately, Leslie, who had been missing for some time, had recently been found dead.
Leslie was one of UC Berkeley’s 85 participants in the study abroad program called “Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Europe”, which is part of the international European Innovation Academy. He had been planning to study at the Haas School of Business in the fall.
The university had just had a vigil for another UC Berkeley student, Tarishi Jain, and other college students who were victims of the Bangladesh terror attacks.
The university’s chancellor, Nicholas Dirks expressed his sympathies for Leslie’s family, and shock at the subsequently growing terrorist attacks around the world.
“This is tragic, devastating news,” he said.
A vigil is being planned for 4:30 in the afternoon at the Sproul Plaza on Monday.
The study abroad program is being suspended for the three days’ mourning in France, but will continue until July 24, 2016.
This is the third major terrorist assault on the country within 19 months.
The act caught everyone in surprise and many of the students studying in the country are being offered a flight back to the United States of America.
The study abroad programs from US colleges aren’t the only ones in danger of disappearing from France. Australian travelers have been warned about traveling to the country.
France gets around 85 million tourists annually, but with the increase of terrorist attacks, people have been cancelling their bookings and itineraries.
Since January, the country saw an 11% decrease in flights to France.
Tourism Minister Matthias Fekl is expecting a 20% decrease of travelers during the summer, as the country is still in a national state of emergency.
Even though the United Nations tourism chief has told tourists not to “punish the victims and reward the aggressors” by avoiding countries that have suffered terror attacks, French government authorities are already expecting their tourism to go down.