Europe News

Fire breaks out near Paris' Gare de Lyon rail station, forces evacuation

Key Points
  • Fire broke out in southeastern Paris near the Gare de Lyon train station.
  • Police said the station was evacuated and people were advised to avoid the area to allow for emergency services.
  • Paris Police tweeted that people were exhibiting "unacceptable violence" while defying a ban on protesting near a concert site.
Gare de Lyon fire in Paris
Source: Simon De Mytt

A large fire broke out Friday in southeastern Paris near the Gare de Lyon train station.

Paris Police said the station was evacuated and advised people to avoid the area to allow for emergency services to battle the blaze. Investigators did not elaborate on the causes of the fire, but later tweeted that it was under control.

A police official told The Associated Press that someone set fire to a scooter near the train station, and the flames quickly spread to other vehicles. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

A witness saw huge clouds of black smoke billowing over the station, near the banks of the Seine River, and several fire trucks were in the area. At one point, the station's landmark clock tower was engulfed in smoke, AP said.

BFM Television reported that the fire began on the sidelines of a concert by Congolese singer Fally Ipupa in the area, according to Reuters. The concert was scheduled to take place later Friday evening at Accorhotels Arena.

Paris Police tweeted that people were exhibiting "unacceptable violence" while defying a ban on protesting near the concert. In a separate tweet, the police condemned demonstrators for keeping firefighters from accessing the area. The tweet included a video showing bystanders clashing with firefighters.

Visitors are also in the city for Paris Fashion Week.

Gare de Lyon serves trains arriving from central and southeast France, as well as Switzerland, Italy and Spain. The station is also known for its restaurant Le Train Bleu, one of Paris' most famous eateries, according to the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Last April, a huge blaze nearly destroyed Notre Dame Cathedral. Experts are working in dangerous conditions to restore the cathedral in a project that isn't expected to be finished until 2024.

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Notre Dame cathedral engulfed in flames