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Armed man takes hostage in Toulouse weather centre

media Météo-France, Toulouse Screen capture/Google Street View

A security worker is being held hostage in the Toulouse branch of France’s weather forecasting service, Météo France, by an unemployed man armed with a hunting rifle.

Spokesman for the police Didier Martinez said the man was about 50 years old and from the local area and was “a little disturbed, his comments made no sense.”

Météo France Toulouse director François Lalaurette said the man turned up at the security post and forced the guard to take him into the main building.

The GIPN, the national police special intervention force, is on the scene and communicating with the hostage-taker, whose has demanded cigarettes and food, and also a newspaper review.

He is located in the drinks area of the premises, which is used by forecasters and computer staff.

The rest of the building has been evacuated, although only thirty of the approximately one thousand workers based there were on site when the police were called.

They were alerted at 6.45 this morning, after a Météo-France employee became concerned after being unable to contact the security worker.

François Lalaurette said that the weather forecast for the region could be slightly disrupted but that other met offices around France would cover the Toulouse area, on a day when storms are expected in some parts of the country.

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