Kiwi trainee doctor to stay in Nice

Kiwi trainee doctor Jarryd Walker. Photo/Supplied
Kiwi trainee doctor Jarryd Walker. Photo/Supplied

A trainee New Zealand doctor is electing to stay in Nice after last week's terror attack despite being given the option of returning home early by medical school officials.

Jarryd Walker has two weeks left of a two-month internship at the Pasteur 2 Hospital in Nice.

He told the Herald despite the horrific events of last week he felt safe with the large military presence on the streets of the French coastal city.

"I'm not going to cut short my time here," said Walker.

"As soon as it happened the university asked me if I wanted to cut it short but it feels pretty safe here with all the military coming in.

"There are police and military everywhere. It's probably a lot safer than the rest of Europe."

Walker said he had been watching the Bastille Day fireworks along the waterfront earlier in the evening with his flatmate.

When the display ended a cool wind was blowing and they decided to head for home rather than linger.

That decision may have saved his life.

"As we were walking back all the panic started.

"If it hadn't have been for the cold we might have actually been there.

"It's a pretty scary thought."

He said while he couldn't easily distinguish the gunfire he could hear screaming and then the crowd started to flee in fear around him.

"Everyone ran for a couple of 100m and then started walking again. At that point a lot of people didn't know what was happening."

Once back in the safety of his flat Walker contacted his family to let them know he was safe.

Auckland University also sent emails to check on him and offered him the opportunity to leave Nice early if he had any concerns for his wellbeing.

Walker had since returned to the cordon at the scene of the deadly massacre and said he was still coming to terms with the "surreal" terror attack.

- NZ Herald

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