Local media in France have reported a possible terrorist attack has been carried out at a facility owned by Air Products in France.
Explosions followed when it has been reported that the man drove into the main gate of the facility at around 10am before driving around in circles throwing gas cylinders around the yard. It has then been claimed, the men jumped out of the car and attacked a man – decapitating him.
An Islamic flag, possibly that of the so-called ’Islamic State’, was seen next to the body. It has also been reported a message in Arabic was pinned to the head.
Police are currently at the scene and a single person, in his 30s and carrying an Islamic State flag, has been arrested. French prosecuting authorities have officially confirmed they are treating this as a terrorist attack.
A dozen people are understood to have been injured from the explosions – further details are yet to be confirmed.
Employees at other businesses near Air Products, in Grenoble, have told how their buildings “shook” following the explosions.
Update: 11.34 (GMT)
It was originally suggested there may have been two people in the car, but French police have not stated they are searching for anyone else after detaining one suspect. However, there is speculation the second suspect could be among injured people and may be detained by police after treatment.
There are suggestions the detained man, in his 30s and is believed to have links with extremists, is refusing to confirm his identity to police.
This is the second terrorist attack on France this year, following the attacks in Paris earlier this year.
Update 11.44 (GMT)
Air Liquide has released a statement on the incident stating it ”expresses its solidarity with the victims of the dramatic events that took place this morning at the site of Saint-Quentin-Fallavier in Isère in the French subsidiary US industrial gases group Air Products and to employees of it.”
“To answer the questions put to us, we specify that Air Liquide and Air Products are two distinct groups. Air Liquide is closely following and in connection with the government any new development on the subject.”
Update 11.50 (GMT)
President Hollande, speaking at a press conference, sends “his thoughts” to the victim and declares that although emotion is high following the Paris attacks, France will “never give into fear”.
Update 12.00 (GMT)
It has been claimed by reporters at the scene that all 17 employees based at the site have been accounted for, but there has been no official statement from Air Products as yet.
Update 12.10 (GMT)
President Hollande has stated only two people have been injured, not the previously reported dozen, and one is dead. He has also confirmed a second person may have been involved.
Update 12.20 (GMT)
There are now also some questions being raised doubting if the dead person was actually attacked at the site or transported to the facility in the suspected culprit’s car. Hollande has also stated there is “no doubt” the attackers meant to cause an explosion using cylinders.
Update 12.45 (GMT)
The suspect captured by Police has been named Yassine Salhi, believed to be a 35-year-old, from Saint-Priest near Lyon. There are some questions being raised about how the attack wasn’t prevented as he has been known to security authorities for at least seven years. France’s interior minister has said Salhi has links to terrorist groups and had been radicalised.
Update 13.15 (GMT)
Rob Cockerill, gasworld’s Managing Editor, has said, ”gasworld’s thoughts are with all at Air Products, and the families of those involved, after this morning’s terrible events in France.”
Update 13.40 (GMT)
It’s been reported by media at the scene that a company spokesman has said, the company has evacuated all employees, and all are accounted for. This almost confirms the decapitated man is not an employee of Air Products.
“Emergency services are on site and have contained the situation. The site is secure. Our crisis and emergency response teams have been activated and are working closely with all relevant authorities.”
Update 13.50 (GMT)
A further development just breaking has clarified that the gates were not rammed by the attackers in a vehicle. The vehicle belonged to a sub-contracting company which had permission to enter the site. Investigators are now understood to be looking at the possibility those responsible for today’s attack may have first attacked the company, or hijacked the vehicle to use it in today’s incident.
Update 15.30 (GMT)
A statement has been released by Air Products which states, ”We can confirm that an attack occurred at our facility in L’Isle-d’Abeau, France this morning. We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and want to express our sympathies to the family of the victim of this unspeakable tragedy.”
”Emergency services are on site and have contained the situation. All individuals working at the site have been evacuated. The site is secure. Our crisis and emergency response teams have been activated and are working closely with all relevant authorities.”
“Security has been increased at locations around the world as a precautionary measure. Further information will be released as soon as it becomes available.”
A further update has been released by Air Products CEO and Chairman, He has words of sympathy for the victim of the attack at the company’s facility in L’Isle-d’Abeau, France. He also expressed appreciation for the assistance and outpouring of support received from around the world, as the company continues to cooperate with the continuing investigation by French and other authorities.
“I am horrified and saddened by the attack on our facility in France. I believe I speak for all of our Air Products family around the world in expressing our deepest sympathies to the family of the victim of this unspeakable act,” said Ghasemi.