French Emergency Hotlines Downed by Network Outage, Several Dead

French authorities are investigating at least four deaths that were attributed to the disruption of emergency hotlines.

The French government summoned the head of the Orange telecom Stéphane Richard because of the sudden network outage that downed the hotline.

The emergency lines 15 (ambulance), 17 (police), 18 (fire) and 112 (the pan European emergency number) were all unavailable amid the network outage. 

Because of the outage, people needing help were unable to reach any of the emergency services for hours including ambulances.

A citizen suffering from a heart condition in the western Morbihan reportedly died after failing to get help while two people with heart conditions in the overseas territory of La Reunion met a similar incident.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said the incidents which would need further investigation.

Health minister Olivier Véran said that there is a need for “an exhaustive health report of all the human consequences which could have happened as a result of this crisis.”

Orange managed to restore services by midnight and said that it is looking into the cause. 

There have been no reports yet that attributed the outage to a cyber attack while  Richard said that it was probably caused by an alleged software failure. 


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