Sniper accidentally shoots during French president's speech
Bullet hits, lightly injures bystanders partway through opening of new train line
Two people were slightly hurt when a police sharpshooter accidentally fired his weapon during a speech by French President Francois Hollande, according to the top official of France's Charente region.
Pierre N'Gahane said the incident occurred while Hollande spoke during the inauguration of a new fast train line in the western town of Villognon.
The regional prefect, speaking to journalists near the scene of the incident, said the gendarme, or military police officer, was located on a high spot, "his regular position," when his weapon was fired.
Asked if the sharpshooter fired accidentally, N'Gahane responded: "Yes, without doubt."
He said two people were slightly wounded.
"We were able to discuss with them immediately afterward," N'Gahane said.
The bullet struck a waiter in the leg and a railway employee in the foot, according to the Sud-Ouest newspaper.
On a video of Hollande's speech that was posted on the Twitter account of the Elysee Palace, Hollande is seen speaking on a platform in front of an audience when suddenly a sound resembling a shot is heard.
He paused to ask if anyone had been hurt.
"I hope it's nothing serious. I think not," he told the crowd, before resuming his speech.
With files from CBC News