Armed police evacuate video game company Ubisoft’s office after hoax emergency call

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Police evacuated a building housing French video game maker Ubisoft's Montreal offices amid news media reports of a possible hostage situation – but now say it was a hoax emergency call.

Montreal's police force urged people to stay away and said "No threat has been identified for now."

They added: "We are currently evacuating the building."

But later, police sources told CBC News that the 911 call that provoked the intense police reaction was a hoax.

The force tweeted updates and confirmed an ongoing operation at the corner of Saint-Laurent Boulevard and St Viateur Street.

There had been multiple reports of a possible hostage situation, but found no evidence of threat or injuries.

Armed police are seen ducking behind a car near to Ubisoft's office in Montreal
(Image: pauldesbaillets/Twitter)

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

The centre of the operation was 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.

Staff are seen on the roof
(Image: LCN / TVA)

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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. They looked calm.

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.

Armed police were seen rushing to the scene

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 armored vehicles and ambulances, surrounded the red brick building in Montreal's Mile End neighborhood north of downtown.

A major police operation was underway
(Image: pauldesbaillets/Twitter)

A major police operation was underway with multiple heavily-armed police on scene.

French Canadian news outlet TVA Nouvelles had early on reported dozens of people were being held hostage at the office in the city in Canada's Quebec province.

But it turns out it was a hoax call which sparked the fears.

Some were reportedly barricaded inside a conference room, while aerial photos show dozens of employees on the roof of the office. They appeared calm.

The news outlet reports a threatening call was made from a commercial premises on Saint-Laurent Boulevard.

In video posted on Twitter, armed SVPM officers are seen ducking behind a police car.

While local media footage shows tactical response teams, armoured vehicles and riot police arriving on scene.