Hostage tells of dra­matic es­cape from Lindt cafe

Kalgoorlie Miner - - NEWS - Syd­ney

One of the first hostages to es­cape the Syd­ney cafe siege has spo­ken of the over­whelm­ing re­lief he felt when he rounded the cor­ner and saw armed po­lice wait­ing for him.

John O’Brien has de­scribed how an or­di­nary day was thrown into chaos when, along with 16 oth­ers, he was caught in an act of ter­ror as self-de­scribed cleric Man Haron Mo­nis seized con­trol of the Lindt cafe.

The 83-year-old was able to flee the Martin Place cafe about 4pm on Mon­day along with two other hostages, bar­ris­ter Ste­fan Balafoutis and Lindt worker Paolo Vassallo, about six hours after their or­deal be­gan when they no­ticed a green but­ton next to the door.

“I have never felt so much re­lief as when I turned that cor­ner and saw the armed po­lice wait­ing for me,” he said.

“All I was do­ing on that Mon­day morn­ing was go­ing down for a quick cof­fee at the Lindt cof­fee shop after hav­ing gone to the eye doc­tor to have an eye check-up.”

He paid trib­ute to the two hostages who died when the siege came to a fa­tal end.

“First I would like to pay trib­ute to Ka­t­rina Daw­son and Tori John­son and of­fer my heart­felt con­do­lences to their friends and fam­i­lies,” he said.

“My thoughts and prayers are also with my fel­low hostages and ev­ery­one af­fected by this ter­ri­ble event as we all try to come to terms with it.”

Daw­son, 38, and John­son, 34, died when the siege ended after 2am on Tues­day.

Mo­nis was also killed when po­lice stormed the build­ing after hear­ing shots from inside.

Mr O’Brien also thanked the po­lice and emer­gency ser­vices for their ac­tions dur­ing the drama. AAP

Pic­ture: AAP

John O’Brien after es­cap­ing from the siege on Mon­day, speaks to NSW Po­lice.

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