French students in the Triangle mourn for Nice

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Saturday, July 16, 2016
French students mourn for hometown
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French students studying in the Triangle react to the attack in Nice

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- As the terror attack unfolded in Nice, French students studying in Raleigh for the summer were anxiously waiting to hear from their loved ones.

Friday, those students at the SKEMA Business School on N.C. State's campus shared a moment of silence for their home country.

Marie-Claire Ribeill took her class outside for that moment of silence. All of her students in this summer's Cultural Immersion Program at the SKEMA Business School are from France.

"I was scared, and I thought, 'not again,'" shared Ribeill.

WATCH: Relieved travelers as Paris flight lands at RDU

The first flight from Paris to RDU since the attack in Nice landed safely Friday.

The Paris-based business school's main campus is in Nice, where Thursday night, a man behind the wheel of a white truck plowed into crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day.

"To think that a truck just hits children. I can't even imagine, and I think everyone is revolted by the whole idea," Ribeill said.

Near the end of a flight from Paris to Raleigh, the flight crew came over the intercom and asked passengers to keep France in their prayers.


With his head bowed, Adriend Martinez thought of his relatives who were in Nice for the fireworks.

"When you are in America, you can't take your family with you," said Martinez, a student. "You can't call and talk with your family."

He was able to get his mother on the phone Thursday night, she told him everyone was OK despite coming close to that truck-turned-weapon. His family was unscathed from the attack that killed 84 and left hundreds more injured.

This horrific act dredged up feelings from the not-so-distant past, and the two other attacks on Ribeill's beloved France.

"Everybody knew that maybe, maybe something else was gonna happen, but this is barbaric," she said.

A number of college students from around the Triangle are studying abroad in France this summer. Duke officials told ABC11 all students, faculty, and staff in the Nice area have been accounted for.

UNC says 65 UNC-affiliated people are in France, but none were in Nice at the time of the attack. N.C. State says no students are studying abroad in France this summer.

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