Paris Gare de Lyon: Fire at station amid Congo concert protest

Image copyright

Image caption

Footage showed large plumes of smoke rising

A large fire has broken out at a major Paris train station, with police reporting “unacceptable incidents” ahead of a nearby concert.

The Gare de Lyon station is being evacuated, police say. Footage showed scooters and other vehicles on fire.

Earlier, political opponents of the DR Congo government had called for musician Fally Ipupa’s performance at the nearby Bercy venue to be disrupted, local media reported.

Protests at the event had been banned.

A large plume of smoke was visible above the station and smoke was also seen inside the Gare de Lyon metro and suburban rail stations.

Some footage appeared to show firefighters being prevented from tackling the blaze.

Police said it was “scandalous behaviour” and demanded firefighters be allowed to operate.

“Avoid the area and allow the emergency services to intervene,” police tweeted.

Ahead of the concert police banned protests against Fally Ipupa’s concert in the immediate vicinity of the AccordHotels Arena concert venue.

Police said the concert was taking place in a “particularly tense political context between supporters and opponents” of the Congolese government.

Fally Ipupa’s concert had led to calls on social media for people to demonstrate outside the event and “confront concertgoers”, a police notice said.

Congolese media said members of the Congolese diaspora had come from other European cities including London, Brussels and Vienna to try to disrupt the concert.

Image copyright

Image copyright

Image caption

Firefighters have been able to intervene

Are you in the area? Did you witness the incident? If it is safe to do so email

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways: