Couple in France ‘report fake terror alert to avoid missing train’

The alert caused Lille-Europe and Lille-Flandres stations to be evacuated. The couple have been arrested

A photo of Lille-Europe train station
The false terror alert in Lille was phoned in by a couple who were trying to avoid missing their train
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A couple reported a fake terror alert at Lille-Europe railway station so that they would not miss their train, firefighters have said.

The Pompiers du Nord fire department (the SDIS) has now submitted a formal complaint about the incident, which took place on Wednesday (July 19).

The emergency service claims the couple made a call to report the alleged presence of a terrorist on a train from Paris to Lille.

This caused the Lille-Europe and Lille-Flandres to be evacuated and the area around the stations was cordoned off.

Police said it had been made by a couple who were travelling on a TGV from Paris to Lille, alleging they made the false accusation to delay proceedings at Lille so they would not miss their onward connection. The couple were arrested.

Writing on social media, the emergency service said: "The SDIS has announced that it is associating itself with the complaints lodged following the false alarm.” It said the tip-off had “mobilised seven emergency vehicles and their crews for more than two hours” for no reason.

Xavier Bertrand, president of Hauts-de-France, said the region would “lodge a complaint following these unspeakable acts which have damaged the network”.

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