Paris attacks: Mother sacrificed her life to save five-year-old son in Bataclan massacre

Elsa Delplace who saved her 5 year old son in the Paris terror attacks
By Rob Crilly, New York
11:00PM GMT 18 Nov 2015

Friend describes how Louis was found covered in blood, hidden beneath his mother’s lifeless body in the concert hall in Paris

A mother sacrificed her life in the carnage of the Bataclan to save her five-year-old son, who survived hidden beneath her body, according to the latest tale of heroism to emerge from Friday’s tragedy.

“Officers described a horrendous scene and said they thought they were walking through water in the dark, before realising it was blood”

Elsa Delplace, 35, threw herself over her son Louis when Isil gunmen opened fire during an Eagles of Death Metal concert.

Her 61-year-old mother Patricia San Martin was also among the 89 people who died in the theatre.

Rescue workers found Louis, who was covered in the blood of his mother and grandmother, as they evacuated the concert hall.

The Eagles of Death Metal concert sign still lays on the Bataclan theatre in Paris   AFP

The story is told by Sihem Souid, a friend of Delplace, in a tribute published by the French magazine Le Point.

“Esla Delplace and her mother Patricia died on Friday under fire inside the Bataclan,” she said.

“Her son Louis, her ray of sunshine, was with her. Louis was found in Vincennes hospital, distraught and covered in his mother’s blood from when she tried to protect him from the bullets.

“Elsa was a joyous person who always had a smile on her lips, even at difficult times. She was involved in the worlds of volunteering, culture and arts. She played the cello brilliantly.”

Terrorists held 20 people hostage in the concert hall as they spoke to police negotiators five times on a mobile phone before officers finally stormed their hideout and brought the siege to an end.

Officers described a horrendous scene and said they thought they were walking through water in the dark, before realising it was blood.

Ms Souid added that Delplace had recently won a post as a consultant, enabling her to get her own flat, and would frequently reflect that “you have to enjoy every moment, because every day is a lifetime .”

“She always fought against injustice. I think it was part of her family – her Chilean mother fled the dictatorship of Pinochet,” she said.

The first officer arrived at the concert venue at about 10pm and shot one of the three Isil terrorists, who died as his suicide vest exploded.

However, police face questions about why it took two hours to find and kill two other gunmen.

On Wednesday, The Eagles of Death Metal said they were suspending future shows.

“We are horrified and still trying to come to terms with what happened in France,” they said.