Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Local holidaymakers caught up in Munich attack

A local couple caught up in the aftermath of Munich attack have spoken of the sense of fear and panic that pervaded the German city in the wake of Friday’s indiscriminate shootings that left ten people dead and scores injured.

Jerome and Rosie Burns from Mullaghbawn were on holiday in the city when a lone gunman opened fire on members of the public in a shopping centre and a fast food restaurant. The 18-year-old shooter murdered nine people and wounded dozens more before killing himself.

In the wake of the attack, the city went into lockdown.  Mr Burns, who was with his wife in a railway station at the time, described the chaos that ensued.

“We were buying train tickets when suddenly there was a massive alert,” he said.  “People were running all over the place. We were all bundled out, down a back door into the bottom of the railway station, where we were kept for about half an hour.

“The station, at that stage, was closed – all the public transport was closed – and we were told to get back to our hotel as quickly as we could.”

Mr Burns said that the situation “was all the more frightening” as there were so few English speakers among the crowd he was with.

“We didn’t really understand what was being said.  It was really manic coming out of the station, police everywhere, stations absolutely evacuated, ambulances and lights all over the place, total panic.”

Having returned safely to his hotel, Mr Burns said he and other guests were “in a state of shock” as details of the attack unfolded.

Friday’s mass murder is the latest in a string of violent attacks against civilians in Western Europe and has sparked a marked increase in security at transport centres and public places.  Tourists have been urged to follow the advice of local authorities amid a heightened state of alert across the continent.