Paris: 500 thousand passengers affected after an intentional fire at a train station

Paris: 500 thousand passengers affected after an intentional fire at a train station

Tuesday, January 24, 2023 | 10:45 a.m.

A fire was caused intentionally in an electrical power installation that this morning caused the interruption of the circulation of all the trains of the East Station in Paris. There are already some 500,000 passengers affected by what happened.

The National Railway Society (SNCF) said that it would be “a malicious act”, referring to the cable fire that was detected early in the morning at a facility in Vaires sur Marne, on the outskirts of Paris, and that prevented rail service from 5.00 in the morning (4.00 GMT).

Totally paralyzed trains

The incident forced the complete stoppage of high-speed, regional and suburban train traffic, at a time of great influx in the early hours of the morning by people who go to work.

A dozen workers were working at the site of the fire with the aim of being able to re-establish train traffic through the Estación del Este starting at 10:00 local time (9:00 GMT).

The Minister of Transport, Clément Beaune, in an interview with the France Info radio station, confirmed that it is “a malicious act”, acknowledged that it is not yet known who is behind it and recalled that “regular” actions of this type take place, for example to steal material.

Beaune, who expressed his dissatisfaction with the situation that affects “thousands” of people, and insisted that such acts have to “be severely punished.”

Several commuter lines of the French capital pass through the Estación Station, which is one of the city’s major communication hubs, and is the starting point for regional and high-speed trains (TGV) to the northeast of France and to Germany.

According to 2019 SNCF figures, some 41 million travelers pass through the Gare du Est every year, one of the six major Parisian stations that connects the capital with cities such as Strasbourg (northeast) and destinations such as Germany or Luxembourg.

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