Bono caught up in the Nice Bastille Day massacre

Musicians Bono and Elton John, and the chef Alain Ducasse, were among a number of celebrities caught up in the Bastille Day massacre in Nice.

Bono, 56, U2's lead singer, and Ducasse, 59, were dining on the terrace of La Petite Maison restaurant near the seafront when the mass murderer Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove a lorry into crowds who had just watched a fireworks display, killing 84 including 10 children.

Bono and Ducasse were rescued by armed counter terrorism police along with other prominent French figures including the former mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, who was also at the restaurant.

People gather at a makeshift memorial to honour the victims of the Nice attack. Photo / AP
People gather at a makeshift memorial to honour the victims of the Nice attack. Photo / AP

However, local residents have questioned the decision to launch special rescue missions of celebrities who were nearly half a mile away from the Nice attack, saying it was a "ridiculous" use of resources at a time when the city was plunged into chaos.

Paulo Mendes, 46, the manager of a souvenir shop next door to the restaurant, said: "It is ridiculous that Bono was rescued by police."

He told the Telegraph that police were needed half a mile away at the scene of the attack where thousands of people were rushing to safety.

"There was panic everywhere in the town," he said. "I don't care if it's Michael Jackson, Bono or Barack Obama. The police should not help one person just because he is a celebrity. Everyone is equal."

Another shopkeeper said the restaurant, which charges 450 euros for 25 grams of caviar, was a popular celebrity haunt and Bono was regularly seen there.

The diners on Friday were gripped by fear as panicked people ran past the restaurant.

"Suddenly I saw people running, without shouting," said Anne-Laure Rubi, the owner of the restaurant. "It was a silent panic - it was extraordinary."

Ms Rubi's staff pulled down the shutters, and instructed everybody to hide and remain calm, until the all clear was given.

Police officers work near the truck that mowed through revellers in Nice. Photo / AP
Police officers work near the truck that mowed through revellers in Nice. Photo / AP

Bono owns a home in the nearby town of Eze, and had been relaxing with friends when the atrocity started at around 10.30pm last Thursday (Friday morning NZ time).

As the slaughter on the Promenade des Anglais became clear, the star was eventually rescued by armed officers who led him to the nearby Massena square.

'It took around half an hour for the police to get us out,' said another diner. 'Like everybody else, Bono had to put his hands on his head, and was told to remain calm.

'The police were clearly very worried that terrorists might still be at large, and everybody was under suspicion.'

Elton John and his five-member band returned from a concert at Albi, in south-western France, a few hours after the slaughter. Elton John was driven to his villa near Nice while the band returned to their hotel, only yards from the scene of the slaughter, on foot because it was inside a security cordon established by police.

- Daily Telegraph UK

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