Paris 2024 Games a 'considerable challenge' for bomb disposal squad

December 6, 2023 6:04 am

Members of the Paris police bomb squad intervene on the Champs Elysees avenue near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris [Source: Reuters]

The Paris police bomb disposal team expect the Olympics to present them with a “considerable challenge” next year.

They have been working with Paris 2024 organisers to define the right level of bomb-clearing intervention during the Olympics and Paralympics in the French capital next summer, the director of the central police laboratory said on Monday.

On Monday, members of the bomb disposal squad were alerted at the Montparnasse train station to abandoned luggage, which the team exploded.

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Another bag, which was found to belong to a school pupil, was also exploded later on Monday.

Bomb alerts in tourist attractions such as the Louvre Museum and the Versailles Palace have also increased in the wake of the Hamas attack in Israel on Oct. 7.

France has been on high alert since raising its security threshold in October when a Chechen-origin man with a knife killed a teacher in a school in northern France.

Last Saturday, one person died and two others were injured after a man attacked tourists in central Paris near the Eiffel Tower.

The attack occurred on the Quai de Grenelle – a spot also included in the plans for the opening ceremony.

Asked if the government was mulling a change to its plan to hold the ceremony on the River Seine, with several hundred thousand spectators expected along its banks, amid the security threats French sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera said there was no “Plan B”.

Some 160 boats will set off on July 26 from the Pont d’Austerlitz for a six-kilometre journey to the Pont d’Iena in an event Tony Estanguet, the head of the Games’ organising committee, described as “unique and spectacular.”