Paris knife and hammer attack: 3 hurt at Gare de Lyon train station

Attacker armed with knife and hammer wounds three people; police say suspect ‘appears to suffer from psychiatric troubles’.

Travellers on the concourse wait for their train at Gare de Lyon train station in Paris, France
Travellers on the concourse wait for their train at Gare de Lyon train station in Paris, France [File: Benoit Tessier/Reuters]

A man armed with a knife and a hammer has been arrested after he allegedly injured three people in an attack at the major Gare de Lyon railway station in Paris.

The suspect, who carried residency papers from Italy and medicines suggesting he was undergoing treatment, was quickly taken into custody after the attack at 7:35am (06:35 GMT) on Saturday, authorities said.

“This individual appears to suffer from psychiatric troubles,” said Laurent Nunez, the Paris police chief who is also in charge of the massive security operation for the Summer Olympics, due to be held in the French capital in less than six months.

Stressing that the police investigation was still in its early stages, Nunez said: “There are no elements that lead us to think that this could be a terrorist act.”

The suspect attacked passersby with a hammer and a knife, seriously wounding one person and two others lightly, Nunez said. A fourth person who was “very shocked” could also be counted as lightly injured, he said. The seriously injured person was undergoing surgery, he said.

The attacker was overpowered by passersby before railway police arrived on the scene, the police said.

“A thank you to those who overpowered the man who carried out this unbearable act,” said Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin on X.

The Paris prosecutor’s office launched an inquiry into the attack and said investigators were analysing the knife and the hammer.

Gare de Lyon is France’s biggest mainline hub, with more than 100 million passengers going through it annually.

Rail operator SNCF said the area between halls one and three was temporarily inaccessible, adding that services to the Paris region were delayed due to “an act of criminal intent”.

The Olympic Games are to open with a massive open-air ceremony along the Seine River on July 26, a major security challenge in the city that has been repeatedly hit by attacks, most notably in 2015.

Most recently, a man targeted passersby near the Eiffel Tower in December, killing a German tourist with a knife and injuring two others.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies