The Paris police used tear gas against stranded train customers at the Gare de l'Est on Sunday night.

The Paris police prefect Didier Lallemant confirmed that there was a crowd in front of the replacement buses.

Law enforcement officers used tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Michael Wiegel

Political correspondent based in Paris.

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Several long-distance trains to Reims, Strasbourg and Metz were canceled on Saturday evening due to severe storms.

A number of local trains could not run due to power failures.

There were long queues in front of the replacement buses.

According to the police prefecture, the crowd did not respect the instruction to give priority to women and children.

The railway police have received reinforcements from the anti-crime brigade BAC from Paris.

An independent journalist, Clément Lanot, filmed the chaos scenes.

In the recording, a police officer can be heard shouting at a man: "People can be killed in a crowd." A few seconds later, the waiting people can be seen staggering and rubbing their eyes.

A voice calls out: "We want buses, not cops (policemen)".

Journalist Lanot reported that from his vantage point, the tear gas added to the chaos as people tried to storm away without direction.

Stranded rail customers from the city of Meaux, 50 kilometers from Paris, and from Chateau-Thierry, 80 kilometers away, were particularly affected.

No alternative offers were made to travelers from Champagne, Lorraine and Alsace.

"Learned nothing from the chaos at the Champions League final"

The use of tear gas has led to outraged reactions from the left-wing opposition.

"The brutality against people whose only fault is trying to get on a bus is unacceptable," said Julien Bayou, national secretary of the green party EELV.

The Green criticized that nothing had obviously been learned from the chaos on the sidelines of the Champions League game in Paris.

There, the overwhelmed police had thrown tear gas grenades at football fans and children.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin later admitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee that "the use of tear gas was disproportionate" and ordered an internal investigation.

He has not yet commented on the recent incident at Gare de l'Est.

The green candidate in Paris, Sandrine Rousseau, called for the police's rules of engagement to be revised.

"The use of tear gas must be limited," she said.

"Again, the security doctrine of the police prefect and the interior minister means injustice and disorder," criticized the deputy green party leader Sandra Regol.

"It is high time to replace those responsible."

"Whatever the problem, the answer is tear gas," said Danièle Obono, MP for the left-wing party La France Insoumise (LFI).

"Whether you're a football fan, a rail customer or a protester, you're sedated with tear gas," lamented LFI MEP Manon Aubry.

The human rights organization Amnesty International has documented the excessive use of tear gas by the French police in a report.

Even during the yellow vest protests, the police's operational doctrine was met with severe criticism.

Investigations into the incidents surrounding the Champions League match between Real Madrid and Liverpool are still ongoing.

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