French bakery owner Leo Tassi said he lost everything on Saturday after a truck crashed into a crowd of people, killing at least 10 people and injuring several others.
“My heart’s broken,” said Tassi, 52, who works for the La Gare de Paris bakery in the city’s east.
“I’m a very proud person, but I lost everything.”
A police official said a truck smashed into a group of people in the center of the French capital and left one dead and 10 others injured.
Tassi has owned La Groupe de Paris since 2006 and was one of the first to open the store in November.
“We are just in shock.
We had an appointment for Sunday to prepare the bakery,” he told Le Parisien newspaper.
“And it was already a bit dark when we started, so we had to put on a heavy blanket and then we had an accident.”
He said he had been preparing the bakery for two weeks, but said he would not be able to open on Monday because the area had already been cordoned off.
Tasi said he was among the first victims in the attack.
“When I saw the first explosion, I knew something was wrong,” he said.
“It was a total shock.
It was the worst moment I’ve ever felt.
I’m very lucky I was alive.”
The driver of the truck, identified as Mohamed Merah, 29, has been charged with the attack, while the other two people who were in the truck have not been named.
He was being held on a terrorism-related charge and was due to appear in court in Bordeaux on Sunday.
France has become the target of a wave of attacks in recent years, with some at home and others abroad.
French President Emmanuel Macron declared a state of emergency and imposed a series of security measures on Friday in the wake of the attack in Paris.
France is among the EU countries that have strict controls on who can travel to the country, with strict controls imposed in the south and in the northeast, where the majority of attacks occur.
Tassin, who has been working for the past six years as a baker, has a bakery in Boulogne-Billancourt, a town in northeastern France, where he said he has lived since 2007.
He said that on Saturday he had received a phone call from the president telling him he would be able open again, but it was unclear when he would receive his order.
“That’s how it works,” he joked.
“They say you’ll open on Sunday, and then Monday.
So I’m a bit worried.”
French media reported that police had searched the bakery, where Tassi’s mother lives, and found some items he had ordered for his bakery.
“The bakery owner was very upset.
He had nothing to eat, and he was afraid of the explosion,” said Lise Lebonne, who owns a cafe in the small town.
“He is very upset.”
Lebonn said Tassim was one the first people to leave the bakery after the crash.
“All his things were destroyed,” she said.
She said she had lost two of her children, aged three and four, and her husband, who was also in the bakery.