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The story of Manuel Colaço Dias, sole victim of the Stade de France blasts

Manuel Colaço Dias was not meant to be working on the night he was killed. The Portuguese chauffeur had worked for a shuttlebus company for about 10 years until retiring three years ago, but still took the odd fare when passengers specifically requested him, as happened two Fridays ago.

“He did not want to work that night, but nonetheless agreed to the job,” said his son, Michael Dias. It was to be the 63-year-old’s last journey.

Moments after Dias dropped off his passengers, a suicide bomber blew himself up in the first of three explosions so powerful they shook the foundations of France’s national stadium.

Dias was killed on the spot, the sole victim of the Stade de France blasts. He was the first of 130 fatalities during more than three hours of terror across the French capital.

Michael said he did not want to think of his father’s death as pure bad luck, choosing instead to believe that “his time had come, that it was his destiny and that it was inevitable”.

He said he was concerned, like many Parisians, about life in the city following the attacks. “It is more the sense of insecurity that worries me. The fear of being in Paris, to go out and eat out. All Parisians are currently feeling and experiencing this,” he said.





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