Huge explosion at Paris train station not a terrorist attack; technical fault blamed

By News Corp Australia Network

A jittery France already on high terror alert has been set on edge after an electrical explosion at a metro train station which has left eight people with injuries.

Dozens of passengers were evacuated from the Paris train station after what was described as "a huge explosion''.

Police moved quickly to dampen fears of a fresh terror attack.

The incident, on Line 6 in or near to the Place d'Italie subway stop, was due to a technical fault, police say.

"This was not a [terrorist] attack," the spokesman said.

A representative for the Paris metro operator RATP added: "There was a release of smoke. Maintenance workers are on the spot. Traffic has been interrupted on part of the line."

It is unclear at this time exactly what caused the explosion, but security personnel have sealed off the area.

Initial reports stated that up to eight people may have been injured, some suffering smoke inhalation.

But Paris' metro operator says only two passengers needed attention from emergency services.

"The passengers were evacuated by the station agents. Firefighters quickly intervened and maintenance workers are currently on hand to deal with the problem. Two passengers were inconvenienced in addition to the drivers, and were taken care of," the RATP told local media.

Metro rail operations have since restarted.

France has been on high alert since the shooting of a knife-wielding attacker outside the Louvre museum at the weekend.

A 29-year-old Egyptian, identified as Abdullah Reda al-Hamamy, was shot several times on Friday after he set upon soldiers with a pair of machetes in what French President Francois Hollande described as a terrorist attack.

A French soldier patrols in the courtyard of the Louvre museum with the visitor control in background. Photo / AP
A French soldier patrols in the courtyard of the Louvre museum with the visitor control in background. Photo / AP

"His life is no longer in danger," an official at the prosecutor's office said. One soldier was injured in the incident near the entrance to the museum, which went into lockdown and closed for the rest of the day, reopening on Saturday.

The attacker was carrying a backpack that contained paint spray cans but no explosives, police said.


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