BOSTON (CBS) — Two of the Boston College students injured in an acid attack in France this weekend are calling for prayers for their accused attacker, a French woman alleged to be mentally ill, on social media.
BC spokesperson Jack Dunn said the four students, Courtney Siverling, Charlotte Kaufman, Michelle Krug, and Kelsey Kosten, have been released from the hospital after being sprayed with acid outside the Saint-Charles train station in Marseille.
The school said in a statement Monday that all four are “doing well,” and had offered forgiveness to their attacker.
“We are very proud of our students and the gracious manner in which they have handled themselves throughout this ordeal,” University Spokesman Jack Dunn said in the statement. “The BC community is here to provide whatever support and assistance they need.”
A 41-year-old French woman who police describe as “disturbed” was arrested in the attack. Officials said there was no link to terrorism.
“To fill in those who have not heard, three of my friends and I were attacked this morning at a Marseille train station by a woman suffering from a mental illness,” Krug wrote in a Facebook post. “She threw a weak solution of hydrochloric acid at us from a water bottle, which got in one of my eyes and one of my friend’s eyes. We were all treated at a local hospital and are anticipating a quick recovery.”
Siverling and Krug have both asked those concerned for their safety to also think about that woman.
“I ask that if you send thoughts and prayers our way, please consider thinking about/praying for our attacker so that she may receive the help she needs and deserves,” Krug wrote in her post. “Mental illness is not a choice and should not be villainized.”
“I pray that the attacker would be healed from her mental illness in the name of Jesus and receive the forgiveness and salvation that can only come from Him,” Siverling wrote.
Students on the Boston College campus said they were shocked and surprised that something like this could happen to their colleagues.
“Knowing that something like that can happen, it scares me a lot,” one student on Boston College’s campus told WBZ-TV’s Anna Meiler.
“It’s scary to think that you don’t know what could happen to you, especially when you’re in an environment where you’re supposed to be studying,” another student said. “I guess you just have to be careful everywhere you go.”
Massachusetts Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren have offered to help the victims and their families in any way.
The director of BC’s Office of International Programs also released a statement saying “the students are fine, considering the circumstances, though they may require additional treatment for burns.”
He also said the program with remain in touch with the girls, parents, the Embassy, and French officials.
Siverling, Kaufman, and Krug are enrolled in BC’s Paris program, while Korsten studies in Denmark at the Copenhagen Business School.
Dunn told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Ben Parker that all of the students intend to continue with their studies abroad.
“It was just such a freightening incident,” Dunn said. “We have students who study overseas all the time, so often, but no incidents ever occur, so this was a surprise to all of us.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Ben Parker reports