Photo courtesy of Tumblr

Acid Attack in France is Second Recent Case of Violence Against Students Abroad

On Sunday, four Boston College students were sprayed with hydrochloric acid outside of the Marseille-Saint Charles train station around 11 a.m. local time. This event took place only a few months after three students were present for a terror attack in London.

The four women have been identified as Courtney Siverling, MCAS ‘19, Charlotte Kaufman, LSOE ‘19, Michelle Krug, MCAS ‘19, and Kelsey Kosten, CSOM ‘19. Kosten is studying at the Copenhagan Business School, while the rest are abroad as a part of the university's Paris program.

A 41-year old French woman who police described as “disturbed” has been arrested for assaulting the women with acid. Police do not believe the attack was an act of terror.

Director of the Office of International Programs Nick Gozik reports that all students have been released from a hospital in Marseille, according to BC News. “It appears that the students are fine, considering the circumstances, though they may require additional treatment for burns,” Gozik said.

According to USA Today, two of the women suffered from facial injuries. The Associated Press reported that the other two women were hospitalized for shock.

Michelle Krug and Courtney Siverling both posted on Facebook Sunday evening, saying they were safe and wanted people to pray for them, as well as the attacker. Krug indicated that she will be remaining in France to continue her abroad experience.

Both thanked the police and U.S. Consulate, and called for support for the mentally ill.

"Mental illness is not a choice and should not be villainized," Krug wrote on Facebook.

Hello friends and family-- first, I want you all to know that my friends and I are doing okay. To fill in those who have...

Posted by Michelle Krug on Sunday, September 17, 2017

Thank you so much to everyone who has reached out to see if I'm ok and/or has been praying for us. I did not receive any...

Posted by Courtney Siverling on Sunday, September 17, 2017


On June 3rd, three BC students on a summer abroad program in London were present for the London Bridge terror attack. Mark Kindschuh, MCAS ‘19, Shannon Breen, LSOE ‘19, and Caroline Wallace, a student at the College of the Holy Cross who is participating in the BC program, took cover inside of the Wheatsheaf pub while three terrorists drove a van into a crowd of pedestrians and went on a stabbing spree around London Bridge. Eight people were killed and 48 were injured. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

The suspects attempted to enter the pub but the doors were locked. They were eventually shot by police while wearing fake explosive vests. The windows of the pub were shattered by bullets.

BBC reported that Kindschuh rushed to save the life of a man who had been struck in the head by a stray bullet. Kindschuh wrapped his belt around the man’s wound and waited for emergency personnel to secure the building.

Breen and Wallace were trapped in the crowd taking cover towards the back of the pub. The Gavel spoke with Breen about her experience:

“We were finishing our dinner when we started hearing screaming and shouts near the front of the pub. We couldn’t really see anything. A wave of people ran towards us in the back. It was all people coming in from the street and other pubs. They were all screaming and running towards us so we immediately stood up. Then we heard gunshots. We hit the floor and went under our table. We had no idea what was going on or what the cause was. There were maybe 80 people in the back of the pub with us. We were really sandwiched in underneath our table so we couldn’t see anything. Our immediate reaction was that there was a shooting in the pub. Mark was a little bit away from us. He stood up, and we tried to yell to him to stay down but he ended up walking off. He was yelling, trying to find where the police were, so we lost track of him around then. We were under there for about a half hour, there was more shooting and a lot of screaming. There was a lot of yelling for doctors or medical attention. Eventually the police broke in and told everyone to run away from the pub as far as we could. The crowd moved towards the front but then we heard a few more gunshots and we crouched down near the windows. The police said it was ok, and just to keep running. You could see that something had happened. There were bodies on the ground outside of the door. We found out what happened with Mark later. He had stood up to see what was going on and saw the man on the ground and went immediately to his aid.”

After this incident, the London program was converted into an online class and the students were sent back to America.

This is a developing story. Check back for new updates and articles.