The Mont-Saint-Michel closed because of a suspect individual should reopen to tourists this Sunday 22nd April in the afternoon. The préfet spoke and witnesses told the facts.
The Mont-Saint-Michel , one of the most visited sites in France, was evacuated and closed to tourists as a precaution this Sunday 22nd April, 2018 in the morning by the police looking for a man who had made threatening to the police . Everything should return to normal in the afternoon.
Around 7.45, Sunday, April 22, 2018, on a shuttle bus to Mont-Saint-Michel, a tourist guide warned the police that a man had made threatening and threatening remarks to police and gendarmes. This person was followed on the tourist site thanks to the video surveillance of the municipal police before being lost sight of, says the source close to the file.
A street animation that goes wrong
According to the prefect of the Manche, Jean Marc Sabathé, speaking on France Bleu, “a man wanted to do a street animation when he had an altercation with a cafe. He made threats against the police. ”
“I evacuated the Mount as a precaution because no one knows the real intentions of this individual. I evacuated the entire Mount and raked house by house to make sure it was not there”, he said.
The prefect indicated that the evacuation took place in good conditions and was completed, and that he planned the reopening of the site in the early afternoon.
No shots, no weapon
“The man mingled with the first visitors. There was no shooting, no weapon. The village will be reopened as soon as the security forces are certain that the individual is no longer on the site. I’m pretty sure it’s not there since all the houses have been checked, “said the state representative.
It would be “a young man between 20 and 30 who was dressed in a white t-shirt and dark pants,” according to a photo taken by a firefighter.
Several witnesses had reported this person while returning to this tourist site which attracts every year nearly 2.5 million tourists.
Surprise but no panic
“We were evacuated without knowing why this morning during breakfast. We saw a lot of gendarmes. There was no panic. We were especially surprised, “said Denis Surfys, a journalist on vacation.
Xavier Bailly, administrator of the abbey, is confined to his home “by order of the gendarmerie”.
“I’m calm, I’m waiting for the instructions of the prefecture, he said by phone to AFP.”
Pedestrians staying in the hotels were evacuated in a calm and uneventful manner. The Abbey was closed as a precaution and religious services cancelled.
Very fast evacuation
The gendarmes searched houses and shops, while tourists were kept at a distance on the bridge leading to the site.
“The evacuation of tourists was fast because there were very few this morning,” said the Gendarmerie Channel.
Several hundred tourists who wanted to spend this Sunday on the Mount were blocked. The shuttles of Mont Saint-Michel which circulate every 10 minutes have been stopped.
A dozen gendarmerie vehicles still on site
According to an AFP photographer on site, on the parking at the foot of Mount, a dozen gendarmerie vehicles were stationed at midday.
People were walking on a suitcase by hand, others with the shuttle.
About fifty gendarmes were deployed, a helicopter flew over Mount and the Caen Research Section was seized.
The site should be able to reopen this afternoon as confirmed by the tweet of the prefecture.
— Préfet de la Manche (@Prefecture50) 22 April 2018
World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the rocky island where stands today the abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel has become over time an emblematic element of the French heritage that makes it one of the most visited sites in France with nearly 2.5 million tourists each year.