Major police operation under way in Canada's Montreal, amid reports of hostage situation

MONTREAL (REUTERS) – Police on Friday (Nov 13) were evacuating a building housing French video game maker Ubisoft’s Montreal offices amid news media reports of a possible hostage situation, and asked people to stay away.

“No threat has been identified for now. We are currently evacuating the building,” Montreal’s police force posted on its official Twitter account, after announcing an ongoing operation at the corner of Saint-Laurent Boulevard and St. Viateur Street.

Officers were sent to the location after a 911 emergency call, an earlier tweet from police said, adding that no injuries had been reported.

The centre of the operation is the building that houses Ubisoft’s Montreal offices, among other companies.

“We are aware of the situation and we are working closely with Montreal authorities,” Ubisoft spokeswoman Heather Steele said in an email to Reuters.

Aerial footage taken by the Quebec French-news chain LCN showed people gathered on the rooftop terrace of the building, along with heavy objects left at the door to block it.

A Ubisoft employee, Eric Pope, tweeted a screen grab from LCN’s footage of people gathered on a rooftop.

“This is insane. This is my team on the roof,” Pope wrote in the tweet. 

According to his LinkedIn profile, he is a senior community developer at Ubisoft Montreal. 

Pope did not respond to a request for comment.

A Ubisoft employee told CTV News station in Canada that employees at the office were instructed via a company memo to hide in an area that locks and to keep quiet.

Police officers in combat gear, as well as armoured vehicles and ambulances, surrounded the red brick building in Montreal’s Mile End neighbourhood north of downtown.

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