Then out of nowhere, people start running out of their cars, screaming and crying! I didn't understand what the hell was going on, they looked behind them and just ran out from the tunnel. And we were in the middle of the tunnel and it was a long one. So me and the bus driver goes of the bus and tries to understand why everyone is panicking. No one responded to my "what is happening?!" people just ran and screamed and cried and dragged their families out of cars. It was crazy. And my first thought was by the looks on peoples faces and the way they kept looking over their shoulder and screaming, I thought it was some maniac shooting people. So I went back to the bus and asked the bus driver in half italian/french (because he knew both but no english) : Should we lay down on the floor in the bus or should we run?. He just looked and me and said; Jackie, run.
Wow, those words just so calm but yet so serious made me just grab my bag ( don't know why -.-') and I started running out of the tunnel. While I was running I could see cars being left, motorcycles still on laying on the floor. People running, screaming, crying. At one moment I was running next to this girl and I asked her "What is going on?!?" And she said Non lo so which means I don't know. That was when the panic slowly started to kick in. I kept running, seeing everyone screaming and dragging their grandmas with them. Cars that tried to back out of the tunnel but got blocked by other cars that were empty from people leaving them. As I was running I was running next to this car that was backing up, so I looked at them and asked if I could jump in, the lady nodded yes and I jumped in in the back. I asked if they knew what was going on and of course they didn't know any English so we all looked at each other in panic I figured that it would go faster if we could back the car out of there. But as I said, there were so many cars left in the middle of the roads so out of no where the people who drove the car couldn't get further out so what do they do?. They jump out of their car, just left it and started running. I was still in the car thinking , well fuck, i'm not staying then!
So I jumped out and started running again. And whilst running I kept asking people what is happening, and this one lady yelled dramatically EXPLOSION. Well shieeeetttttt......
That's when stage 2 of panic kicked in. I thought well now there is a bomb in here. RUN! So I kept running till I saw the light at the end of the tunnel, LITERALLY! At that moment I picked up my phone and called my manager Jette who is the best manager in the world, and she picked up and that's when I realized that I was starting to hyperventilate since I was out of breath from running at the same time I was starting to cry and the shock hit me. So poor Jette got the most horrible phone call from me when she answered I couldn't barely speak between my sobbing and breathing, and she went full survival mode as well and was like okey I can't help you if you don't take a deep breath and explain to me. What has happened? Where are you? I'm coming to get you with my scooter! Aw Jette <3
That's when I came out of the tunnel and I saw 2 bus drivers that I have had as my drivers from other excursions, and they saw me coming running out crying and they just said JACKIE! I ran straight to them and they embraced me and was like It's okay! It's okay now, you are safe.
These guys tho ❤ So one of them took the phone and spoke to Jette and explained that I was now with them, and that they would take care of me. That's when I could finally calm down and get back down on earth from that shock.
The police came and firefighters. And after maybe 20 minutes they had cleared the situation. So what has happened was that a car had caught on fire in the middle of the tunnel. And people was running away from it, in case it would explode. Hence the lady yelling explosion!
They cleared the tunnel and after 20 minutes we could drive again, and as we did we could see smoke in the tunnel, and then right outside there was the tow truck with the car, and you could see the entire front of the car was burnt. So it was literally in minutes that thing could have exploded so I get why everyone was running.
But my oh my are Italians masters at exaggerating.... They are drama queens for reals!
But the worst part from this incident for me was the fact that I had no idea what it was that I was running from..
As I said, you really get to know yourself and get to realize how strong you really are mentally as well, not ready to give up, you really go in to survival mode.
Well I'm alive and as I said in previous post;
I'M A SURVIVOR, I'M GONNA MAKE IT, I WILL SURVIVE, KEEP ON SURVIVING!
(I think this will be my motto for Sicily)