Mass confusion and chaos as gunshots rang out across Christchurch on Friday made for an extra level of terror for some people.
The city was immediately placed into lockdown after mass shootings at two mosques in the city, with schools ordered to keep students inside.
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Many students would have been striking today as part of the Schools Strike For Climate Change. One such event was near Hadley Park at the time of the terror attacks.
At Burnside High, one of the biggest schools in the country, more than 2500 students were locked down for hours.
"[They were] texting out to some really anxious parents outside here," Newshub's Patrick Gower says.
Freed at last, after 6pm, the students were visibly relieved - but they wouldn't have been as relieved as their parents.
One parent told Gower he was going to wait outside the school until his son was released, while one mother-of-two admitted she had been on tenterhooks since the normal finishing time.
"I've been getting texts... I'm worried now about what's happening out in the community," she told Newshub.
One woman was not only "extremely worried", but admitted she was embarrassed.
"[I'm] embarrassed that people come to this country and aren't escaping what happens in their countries," she said.
Armed police stood guard outside the school as the students were finally allowed to reunite with their parents.
Forty-nine people have been confirmed killed in the terror attacks.