Armed robbers have stolen millions of euros worth of jewellery from the Ritz Hotel Paris.
Five men armed with axes smashed a window at the jewellery shop inside the hotel at around 6pm local time, French media reports.
A police source said the stolen items are worth ‘several million euros’.
French TV station BFM reported the jewels were worth €4.7m (£4.16m).
Three men have been arrested, according to police, but others remain on the run.
It is not clear whether any of the estimated €4 million in loot has been recovered.
A witness told Sky News they heard ‘at least 10 rounds of gun fire’.
They told Sky News:
My parents and I were sitting at the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz for a drink and we were about to leave when we heard shouting from the bartenders to get down.
One man wearing a ski mask ran right from the bar door to the front right past my father.
He had an axe in his hand.
The witness continued:
Immediately the bartender closed and locked the door and corralled everyone to the back kitchen area of the bar.
We heard at least 10 rounds of gun fire so everyone dove behind the bar where we stayed there for about six minutes.
We heard shouting and screaming from right outside the door.
The five-star Ritz is located in Place Vendôme, situated in Paris’ historical first district on the right bank of the river Seine.
The luxury hotel includes a gallery shopping area near its rear entrance, which hosts five shops and 95 ‘showcases’, selling jewellery, watches and luxury clothing.
Local newspaper Le Parisien, says according to a police source, the robbery was interrupted by an officer on patrol, but two people escaped on a motorised scooter, the BBCreports.
— Edouard Margain (@edouardmargain) January 10, 2018
The city’s police commissioner has issued a statement on Twitter thanking officers for their quick reactions, which led to the arrest of three men.
Tim Horner is a sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated with a BA Journalism from University College Falmouth before most his colleagues were born. A previous editor of adult mags, he now enjoys bringing the tone down in the viral news sector.