Three Killed In Paris Gas Explosion – French Authority
A powerful explosion apparently caused by a gas leak blew apart a Paris bakery and devastated the street it was on, killing three people and injuring dozens as it blasted out windows and overturned nearby cars, French authorities said.
Witnesses described the sound of the explosion as deafening. Firefighters pulled injured victims out from broken windows and evacuated residents and tourists as a fire raged and smoke billowed over Rue de Trevise in the 9th arrondissement of north-central Paris.
Charred debris and broken glass covered the pavement around the apartment building housing the bakery, which resembled a blackened carcass, and people were trapped inside nearby buildings.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner paid homage to the courage of rescuers, who saved the life of one firefighter who was buried under the rubble for 2 hours.
The French Interior Ministry said two firefighters and a female Spanish tourist were killed by the blast and about 10 of the 47 wounded were in critical condition.
He told reporters at the scene “unfortunately the human toll is particularly serious.”
“As firemen were looking for a gas leak in the building, a dramatic explosion took place,” he said.
French authorities corrected the figure of four dead given earlier by France’s interior minister.
Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said the cause of the blast appeared to be an accidental gas leak. He said Paris firefighters were already at the scene to investigate a suspected gas leak at the bakery when the explosion happened.
French journalists at the scene said the windows of buildings along the entire block on the Rue de Trevise in the commercial district were blown out during the explosion.
Photographs show twisted bicycles, mangled rubbish bins and building debris flung violently across the road.
Cars were upturned and on fire, and glass scattered across the streets and footpaths.
Despite initial fears of a terror attack police quickly ruled the blast was caused by a gas leak in a patisserie.
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