Last night Paris’ Gare du Nord train station was evacuated by police after a security alert. No specific details of the operation were provided by the authorities but a station employee confirmed the forces targeted a train from Valenciennes.
Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert said that the operation was aimed at “removing doubt” and ended with no arrests but refused to give further details.
Police from the special BRI intervention force came to the train station just after 11 p.m. and asked about the train coming from Valenciennes. They started evacuating all the passengers waiting on the platforms or descending from coming trains. According to witnesses there were a lot of policemen, some with hands on their guns who were rushing people out of the station. There was a lot of noise and a bit of chaos, according to a woman who claimed that she was separated from her children during the operation.
By 2 a.m. the police operation was over and the cordon set up around the station was removed. Within an hour the passengers on the Valenciennes train were also let go. This morning the station operates as usual.
Gare du Nord services a large number of trains from the suburban and national rail network as well as Eurostar trains from London. The police operation was just a day after the dramatic presidential elections in France won by Emmanuel Macron. The police did not state the reason for the evacuation but the manner of the act reminds the anti-terrorism actions recently going on in Paris and other places.