Large blaze erupts near iconic Paris train station Gare de Lyon, Congolese singer protesters blamed for arson (VIDEOS)
A major fire occurred outside the iconic Gare de Lyon station in Paris. Reports say it was started by a crowd protesting against a concert by a Congolese star nearby, who tried to prevent firefighters from putting out the blaze.
The fire erupted near the station late on Friday. Footage from the scene shows open flames in the street outside the landmark, as well as a large plume of black smoke billowing over the area.
Important incendie en cours à proximité de la Gare de Lyon après des tensions entre opposants a la tenue du concert de Fally Ipupa à Bercy et les forces de l’ordre. pic.twitter.com/FwaIL2Iew9— Remy Buisine (@RemyBuisine) February 28, 2020
A massive fire at Paris Gare de Lyon Train Station. What's happening to 2020? 🙁 pic.twitter.com/5hmechHSJN— Chinmay Sanghi (@ChinmaySanghi) February 28, 2020
The blaze has apparently been started by a group of people on the sidelines of a concert, which took place at a nearby venue. Footage from the scene seemingly shows rowdy public trying to prevent the firefighters from extinguishing the flames.
The police described the apparent unrest as “unacceptable abuses,” announcing evacuation of the train station and urging the public to avoid the area.
A tous ceux qui se demandent ce qui se passe à Gare de Lyon, il y a des manifestants qui ont cramé des scouteurs le long de la rue pic.twitter.com/USKP8Jf2ni— Sam [ 🇫🇷🌟🌟] (@samsk69) February 28, 2020
Incendie à Gare de Lyon. Vue des bureaux. Les @PompiersParis et les CRS sont en cours d'intervention. Il a fallu 20min pour évacuer les manifestants violents qui ont cause l'embrasement de scooters. Boutiques menacées. #GareDeLyon#Incendiepic.twitter.com/8YdNzbcmSv— Simon De Mytt (@SimonDeMytt) February 28, 2020
Local media have pointed finger at the concert of Congolese singer Fally Ipupa, which was held at a nearby venue. Apparently, it has attracted not only revelers, but a group of protesters who have reportedly set multiple vehicles on fire. The protesters were reportedly dissatisfied with the Congolese government and the singer, whom they believe to be way too cozy with it.
Ahead of the concert, the police promised to mobilize “significant resources” in order to “prevent any disturbance to public order.”
While footage from the scene shows sizeable police presence, the precautions have apparently proven to be insufficient.
Footage showed the firefighters have eventually accessed the scene of the blaze and extinguished it. The incident left multiple vehicles charred and nearby buildings coated in fire residue.
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