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Police evacuate train after man locks himself in toilet

Several platforms at Rotterdam Central Station have been cleared. Image: Google Maps

A man who locked himself in a toilet of a high-speed train heading for Paris has been arrested.

Police in the Netherlands said the arrest happened at Rotterdam Central station without incident.

The train was evacuated as a precaution.

The incident comes less than a month after passengers subdued a gunman on board a high-speed Thalys train in northern France as it was travelling from Amsterdam to Paris.

Train operator Thalys said earlier: "Security forces have situation under control. No risk for our passengers."

NOS state television pictures showed heavily-armed police with protective shields and equipment scanning the train carriages and searching inside.

Last week European rail operators met government officials to discuss whether to beef up train security in the European Union.

The consensus from those talks was that no disproportionate and costly security action should be taken that would hinder high-speed international rail traffic in the European Union.

This means it is unlikely that metal detectors would be installed in European stations and that passenger information would not be systematically collected.

Police said in tweets that the arrest went off without incident, although the man was taken to hospital because he had hyperventilated after his arrest, and one officer was hurt when he was bitten by a police dog.

Police were searching the train and going through a backpack they believe belonged to the man.

Rail services to and from Rotterdam were severely disrupted, rail authorities said.

Thalys said it was allowing passengers to cancel or postpone journeys without charge.

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