Police asked everybody in the neighbourhood to stay indoors. Flemish lorry driver Geert Depoorter told VRT News that there was no question of panic.
Mr Depoorter was in Dammartin-en-Goële to deliver freight to a business near the printing works where the suspected terrorists had taken their hostage. He was stuck at the premises together with a hundred of the company's workers.
"When I drove here this morning, there were an awful lot of police. I had just started work, but was told to stop after ten minutes. The hostage-taking is close by, on the other side of the road."
The Flemish lorry driver explained how he saw how snipers were landed by helicopter. They took up positions on the roof of a building.
Geert Depoorter: "Everybody is remaining calm. Everybody is waiting. Let's hope it doesn't take too long."