Gas leak causes mas­sive ex­plo­sion in Paris, 3 dead

Sunday Express - - WORLD -

A pow­er­ful gas ex­plo­sion tore through a build­ing in cen­tral Paris on Satur­day, killing two fire­fight­ers and a Span­ish woman, in­jur­ing dozens of peo­ple and badly dam­ag­ing nearby apart­ments, of­fi­cials said.

Around 200 fire­fight­ers were mo­bilised to bat­tle the fire that broke out af­ter the blast and evac­u­ate vic­tims and res­i­dents in the area, In­te­rior Min­is­ter Christophe Cas­taner told re­porters at the scene.

The ex­plo­sion came with the city on edge dur­ing the lat­est “yel­low vest” anti-gov­ern­ment demon­stra­tions, which have of­ten de­gen­er­ated into vi­o­lence and van­dal­ism in Paris and other cities in re­cent weeks.

“It hap­pened when there were peo­ple in the street, and fire­fight­ers in­side,” Cas­taner said. Around 100 po­lice of­fi­cers blocked off sev­eral streets in the area, home to res­tau­rants and tourist at­trac­tions in­clud­ing the Musee Grevin wax mu­seum and the pop­u­lar Rue des Mar­tyrs.

Po­lice also closed off streets in front of the Garnier Opera house as emer­gency ser­vices landed two he­li­copters in front of the his­toric build­ing to evac­u­ate vic­tims.

Be­sides the three peo­ple killed, 47 peo­ple were in­jured in the blast, 10 of them se­ri­ously, the Paris prose­cu­tor’s of­fice said.

The ex­plo­sion oc­curred shortly af­ter 9:00 am in build­ing that housed a bak­ery as well as a restau­rant.

AFP

A woman is evac­u­ated af­ter a blast tore through a bak­ery in cen­tral Paris|

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