Panic at site of memorial in Paris

Panic which broke out at Place de la Republique in central Paris on Sunday evening said to be caused by false alarm

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

People gathered around a monument in the square of Place de la Republique in Paris to remember those killed in the string of bomb and gun attacks in the city on Friday dispersed suddenly on Sunday evening due to what police later said appeared to be a false alarm.

A police official at the square said, "There was crowd movement with apparently with no reason. We hadn't heard anything and all the people we questioned hadn't heard anything either."

Although the reasons for the panic were not immediately clear, people began running and screaming from the memorial where they had gathered to leave flowers and candles in honour of the Paris attack victims.

Police took up positions with guns, ordering onlookers away while thousands of people trampled on memorial items as they ran for their lives.

Emergency service personnel said some people from the crowd claimed that they had heard gunfire.

However, the police said no shots were fired and no injuries were reported at the plaza and a second police official also comfirmed there had been a false alarm.

After a while the police eased their stance and slowly people returned to the memorial area.


TRTWorld and agencies