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Mass panic in Cannes after a rumoured shooting

CÔTE D'AZUR & PROVENCE

Croisettes CannesWalking on the Croisette last night, no one would believe that 24 hours before, a crowd of terrified people were running from what they thought was a shooting attack. With the event instantly broadcast through social media as well as dozens of policeman and fire brigades on site to control the crowds, the conclusion is that there was more fear than actual harm done and that fake news travel fast. 

Tensions were high that night, but as David Lisnard, the city’s mayor stated: “There were no shots fired, no entrenched madman, just a mass panic after an individual shouted ‘gunshots.’” The widespread fear resulted in a stampede, people fleeing their tables at bars and restaurants, only to follow the terrified crowd. Social media posts were quickly flooded with images of running crowds and comments of active shooters. 

Tweet David Lisnard 

However, after more than 80 police and fire specialists thoroughly checking the area, no such evidence was found. In the aftermath of the event, the police officially counted 44 people who suffered minor injuries. Hotels, restaurants and bars were left strewn with flipped chairs, broken dishes and unpaid bills.

The Cannes municipality informed on their website that people should consult the official accounts to ensure that they have the most reliable information. Whether it is through credible sources such as the Cannes City hall official website or by contacting experts, the aim is to avoid spreading rumours that, as shown two nights ago, could aggravate the reality of the facts. In that regard, David Lisnard who remained present on social media to keep everyone up to date until almost 2 am, praised the municipal and national police forces for their efficiency in handling the situation. 

Tweet David Lisnard

The most important information to keep in mind as we all move on with our day is that no severe physical harm was done. Though the event is still undergoing an open investigation, so far reports have indicated that there is no cause for concern. Numerous inspections were carried out and the authorities have confirmed that they would be open about their findings in order to avoid any more rumours.

- Charlotte Gillet