The relief was evident as foreign nationals were greeted by relatives in Paris after flying out of Tripoli. The race to get them home has begun in earnest as the situation in Libya deteriorates.
France sent three evacuation planes yesterday but only two were able to land and pick up grateful passengers.
One French arrival said: “We heard there were 80 to 500 deaths a day in Benghazi….The information is confused and that’s why we panicked a bit. We were not really afraid, but when you have a family and you don’t know enough or where to go, you do panic a little bit”.
An American explained he was employed by one of the oil companies.” I work in the oil field. Tripoli, the centre, gunfire in the night, explosions, smoke, that’s about the extent of it though.”
Britain has sent a charter plane and despatched a Royal Navy frigate to waters off Libya to assist British subjects. Turkey likewise is picking up its nationals by sea and air – some 25,000 in all.
The US seems to have accelerated its evacuation of nationals by chartering a ferry to leave Tripoli within hours instead of relying on flights.