Massive breakdown of emergency numbers: “things are back to normal”, says Castex

“The situation is back under control,” said the Prime Minister this Friday morning after having chaired the interministerial crisis unit. “It will be necessary to establish very clearly the cause of the events which occurred and especially the means so that they do not occur again”, he insisted. The telephone operator has launched an in-depth internal investigation.

Wednesday evening, for about seven hours, the numbers of the Samu (15), the police (17), the fire department (18) and the single European emergency number (112) were almost inaccessible. Orange, after having presented “its strongest apologies” through its CEO Stéphane Richard, announced this Friday early in the morning, to have launched an “in-depth” internal investigation.

An announcement that preceded the meeting of the interministerial crisis unit which was held at Place Beauvau. “Things are back to normal” and “the situation is back under control as I speak,” said Jean Castex around 9 am, at the end of this meeting which he chaired.

New interministerial meeting chaired by Castex

“We deplore the victims who are likely to have been caused by this serious incident,” confirmed the Prime Minister. Stating that there were “four, subject of course to what the inquiries say, in particular the judicial inquiries which are opened”.

“It will be necessary to establish very clearly the cause of the events which occurred and especially the means so that they do not happen again”, insisted the head of government, accompanied by the Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, who had denounced Thursday of “serious and unacceptable dysfunctions”, and by the Secretary of State in charge of Digital Cédric O.

In-depth internal investigation

For now, Orange has tackled this task by launching an in-depth internal investigation. The general inspection of the telephone operator “will have to carry out the necessary investigations to identify the precise causes of this incident and make recommendations to draw all the necessary lessons,” said Orange.

Its conclusions are expected within seven days. “In connection with the interministerial crisis unit, last night we set up a dedicated unit in order to resolve any local malfunctions that could appear”, added the telephone operator, while “disturbances” still remained on Thursday “ randomly “.

No cyber attack

Asked about the origin of this failure, Stéphane Richard has already ruled out the hypothesis of a cyberattack. According to him, this incident is “more likely” due to “a software failure in (the) critical network equipment”, that is to say platforms responsible for routing calls.

The Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, criticized the “serious and unacceptable dysfunctions” of this unprecedented event. The failure could be linked to the death of at least four people including a young child, according to a still very provisional assessment. Emmanuel Macron, traveling in the Lot , judged Thursday that it was “too early to take stock” but said he was “very concerned”.

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