A tragedy narrowly avoided? A 63-year-old man was indicted for attempted murder after the discovery in his apartment of open gas cylinders and a "homemade" detonator, a device that could have blown up the entire building, we learned Saturday from the prosecutor's office of Montbéliard (Doubs).
The man, who lived in a building of a dozen apartments east of Audincourt, a town of 13,000 inhabitants of the agglomeration of Montbéliard, was placed in provisional detention Friday night, said the same source.
A neighbour raises the alarm
According to the prosecutor's office, he did not really explain his intentions, his statements remaining "random" but nothing indicates a religious or terrorist motive. It was a neighbor in his building who raised the alarm Wednesday night after smelling a smell of gas.
In the apartment of the accused, from which the latter was then absent, five gas cylinders, a "homemade trigger system" and three jerry cans, including one containing a liquid that could be gasoline, were discovered, as well as a Molotov cocktail in his vehicle, according to the prosecutor's office.
The "working order" detonator
Single and childless, the sexagenarian had been arrested in the night from Wednesday to Thursday. Ammunition of 22 long rifle were also found in the apartment, "enough to blow up the entire five-storey building," said the prosecutor of the Republic of Montbéliard, Ariane Combarel, quoted by France Bleu Belfort-Montbéliard.
According to the regional daily L'Est Républicain, the detonator, "rudimentary", was "in working order". The building and nearby buildings had to be evacuated, the prosecutor's office said, without being able to specify the number of people affected by this measure.
The man has no criminal record, it added, adding that a psychiatric expertise had been ordered.