Attack in France hits Pennsylvania-based firm, local security increased

Attack in France hits Pennsylvania-based firm, local security increased
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The French gas factory where a terror attack left one dead and injured two othersearly Friday is owned by Air Products, a multi-billion dollar firm based inTrexlertown, Pennsylvania.

Islamic militants rammed a car into the facility in L’Isle-d’Abeau, France. A decapitated body was found at the scene, with Reuters reporting that it the body, covered in Arabic writing, was that of a local businessman. The driver of the car survived the attack and was taken into custody.

“We can confirm that an attack occurred at our facility in L’Isle-d’Abeau, France this morning. We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and want to express our sympathies to the family of the victim of this unspeakable tragedy,” said Air Products spokesman Arthur George.”Emergency services are on site and have contained the situation. All individuals working at the site have been evacuated. The site is secure. Our crisis and emergency response teams have been activated and are working closely with all relevant authorities.”

Security at the Pennsylvania company has been increased at locations around the world as a precautionary measure, George said.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said one suspect, named as Yassin Sahli, had been arrested, and police were holding other suspected accomplices. He said Sahli did not have a criminal record but had been under surveillance from 2006 to 2008 on suspicion of having become radicalized, Reuters reported.

It was not known whether the victim, so far the only known fatality in the incident that also injured two people, was decapitated before or after the car smashed into the building.

The attack at the faciltyinSaint-Quentin Fallavier, 20 miles southeast of Lyon, was one of three today. Islamic militants in Tunisia gunned down 27 people at a resort. In Kuwait, asuicide bomber blew himself up at a packed Shi’ite Muslim mosque in Kuwait city during Friday prayers, killing more than ten people

Air Products is headquartered in Trexlertown, Pa. and hadsales of $10.4 billion last year, according to its annual report.

The company, with operations in 50 countries, employes 21,000 peoople. Itprovides specialty gases — liquid nitrogen, oxygen, argon and other gases to a range of industries, including hospitals, the electronics sector,and industrial facilities.

Governor Tom Wolf released a statment calling the attack “horrific.”

“Frances and I are saddened by the horrific attack of violence and loss of life in France. Air Products is an important part of Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley community. Our thoughts are with the family of the deceased and all Air Products employees today. Pennsylvania State Police is aware of the incident and monitoring any potential threats.”

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