Students attacked with acid in Marseille 'fine'

  • 18/09/2017
French police car
French police have ruled out terrorism in acid attack. Photo credit: Getty

Four American tourists who French authorities say were attacked with acid at a train station in the city of Marseille are students at Boston College in Massachusetts but the incident is not believed to be terrorism related.

The four female students were treated for burns at a Marseille hospital after being sprayed in the face with acid on Sunday morning (local time) but have now been released, the private Jesuit college said in a statement.

All four women were junior students with three of them at the college's Paris programme.

The college's Office of International Programs director Nick Gozik says "it appears that the students are fine, considering the circumstances".

The students were identified as Courtney Siverling, Charlotte Kaufman, Michelle Krug and Kelsey Kosten.

A 41-year-old woman was arrested after the attack. Boston College says police described the suspect as "disturbed" and French authorities are not treating the incident as a terrorist attack for the time being.

The Paris prosecutor's office said that its counter-terrorism division had not assumed jurisdiction for the attack at Marseille's main train station. The prosecutor's office has responsibility for all terror-related cases in France.

A spokeswoman for Marseille's prosecutor said earlier that the woman arrested as a suspect in the attack did not make any extremist declarations, but said officials couldn't rule out terror as a motive so early in the investigation.

Regional newspaper La Provence, quoting unidentified police officials, reported that the suspect had a history of mental health problems and didn't try to flee the site of the attack.