'Horrible' Stabbing and Hammer Attack in Paris Leaves 4 Children, 1 Adult Dead After Family Member Goes 'Mad'

At least five people have died and several others injured in Paris after a stabbing over a family dispute in which a man attacked his family.

According to the French outlet BFM TV, the attack took place on Saturday morning. The five deaths have been reported to be of four children and one adult. Three additional family members were hospitalized.

The incident took place in the Noisy-le-Sec commune, in northeastern Paris.

The police were alerted to the incident after a young, injured child went to a bar asking for help near where the incident happened.

The child is reported to have told the manager of the bar that his uncle had "gone mad" and that he had assaulted the rest of his family "with a knife and a hammer."

Officers were dispatched to the scene of the incident where they found, in addition to the five people who had died, five people who were unconscious or seriously injured.

Three of them were reported to be in critical condition, and two in a state of "relative urgency." The alleged perpetrator was identified by the police as the uncle of this family of Sri Lankan origin.

The uncle was found at the scene in a coma, with a knife and a hammer by his side, according to BFM TV, and taken to a nearby hospital in the outskirts of central Paris.

"The scene was horrible, we are several to be shocked," police officers reportedly told one of the BFM reporters at the scene.

Noisy-le-Sec Paris
This picture taken on September 29, 2016 shows a view of the Londeau housing estate in Noisy-le-Sec, northeast of Paris. Getty Images/Christophe Archambault/AFP

Paris could be placed under "maximum alert" as early as Monday as the capital and its surrounding area struggles to contain rising cases of COVID-19.

The French health minister Olivier Véran said on Thursday that new coronavirus measures, which will force bars and restaurants to close among other restrictions, could be implemented in the city.

Véran said that the wider Paris region— home to around 7 million people—had passed all three of the government's criteria for an area to be placed on maximum alert

Firstly, the rate of infection soared to 259.6 per 100,000 people—with the government's threshold being 250.

Secondly, the percentage of intensive care hospital beds occupied by coronavirus patients has now reached 34 percent in the Parisian metropolitan area, according to Aurelien Rousseau, head of the Paris region health authority. This is also ahead of the critical level of 30 percent.

The rate of infection among people aged over 65 has also passed the government's threshold of 132 per 100,000 people, the third criteria.

"It is getting worse faster in Paris and the surrounding area," Véran told reporters according to France24. "We need a few days to confirm the trends, but if they are confirmed, we'll have no choice but to put it on maximum alert, from Monday. We're in a phase where the situation is worsening."