A massive police operation was underway in Montreal on Friday afternoon at the headquarters of French video game maker Ubisoft, which reported that the media was a potential hostage-taking, but later the police said that no attack had yet been detected, and CBC News reported that the incident had been triggered by a hoax 911 call.
Police reported that a major operation on Twitter had began at about 1.30 p.m., but gave no information while advising people to ignore the area” between St-Laurent Boulevard and St-Viateur Street in Montreal’s Mile-End district, close to downtown. Police later modified the assertion that no threat has been identified so far. No injuries have been registered.”
Television photos showed the streets surrounding the old brick building corded off by heavily armed police, and scores of Ubisoft employees who seemed to have barricaded themselves on the roof.
A telecommunications company employee told Radio-Canada that about 50 people were taken to the rooftop terrace by managers who then barricaded the door leading to the stairwell with furniture.
The staffer said that people were freezing, but in good spirits.
Others were seen ushered out of the front door.
“Police officers have been deployed to the scene to respond to a 911 call,” the police spokeswoman told AFP.
“The information has not yet been confirmed,” the official said, adding that “officers specialized in this sort of action are currently on the scene and are performing checks.”
“There were no confirmed casualties.”
Ubisoft is best known for video game titles including Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed.
About 4,000 employees would usually be employed in their Montreal workplaces, but many were teleworking during the Covid-19 pandemic.