Explosion rocks Paris
Gas leak blamed for bakery blast
A HUGE blast has rocked central Paris, setting buildings and cars alight, injuring 20 people and leaving at least two fighting for their lives.
The explosion, triggered by a gas leak at a bakery, happened on the Rue de Trevise in the 9th arrondissement commercial district yesterday about 9am local time ( 8pm AEST).
Firefighters and police used ladders to evacuate people from damaged buildings and dozens of fire trucks were called to contain the blaze.
Emergency workers treated some of the injured at the scene and helicopters landed on the nearby Place de l’Opera to evacuate victims.
French journalists at the scene said the windows of buildings along the entire block on the Rue de Trevise were blown out.
Interior Minister Christo- phe Castaner said “the situation is under control” but warned the explosion had caused a “heavy toll”.
Police cars and dozens of firefighting trucks could be seen parked along the streets, and abandoned bicycles, rubbish bins and building materials were strewn across roads. Debris and broken glass littered the pavement.
Firefighters were going door to door, inspecting ad- joining courtyards. A vehicle from gas company GRDF was stationed nearby.
Despite initial fears of a terror attack police quickly ruled the blast was caused by a gas leak at the patisserie on the corner of the streets Saint-Cecile and Rue de Trevise.
Witnesses described to French television the enormity of the blast and said people were trapped in nearby buildings.