Powerful Paris explosion injures many

Powerful Paris explosion injures many

Powerful Paris explosion injures many

An explosion that caused a fire at a bakery in central Paris on Saturday killed at least 4 people and injured 36, French authorities said.

Paris fire department spokesman Eric Moulin told reporters at the scene that five people were in life-threatening condition, including two firefighters.

More information to follow.

Many homes and buildings in Paris use gas for heating and cooking, though explosions due to leaks are relatively rare. The spokeswoman, who wasn't authorised to be publicly named, provided no further details.

Firefighters tend to a wounded person near the site of a gas leak explosion in Paris.

The blast occurred at a bakery at 9 a.m. local time on Saturday, as firefighters were responding reports of the leak.

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"The explosion was so severe, windows were breaking three or four blocks away where I was", Luke said.

Earlier, witnesses described an overwhelmingly loud blast and then hearing screams from people caught in nearby buildings. He said that the hotel was "destroyed" in the blast.

Mr Goncalves said he "felt a lot of things fall on me" and that he was struck by shattered glass.

The explosion came as the French capital is on edge and under heavy security for yellow vest protests expected later today around the country.

"The toll appears to be high, and severe", Castaner said, adding that 100 police officers were blocking off several streets in the area, home to restaurants and tourist attractions like the Musee Grevin wax museum and the popular Rue des Martyrs. Another 37 people had lighter injuries, he said.

Firemen work at the site of an explosion in a bakery shop in the 9th District in Paris, France, on January 12, 2019.

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