At least four people have died and dozens have been injured in an explosion and fire at a bakery caused by an apparent gas leak, according to French officials.
A Paris police spokeswoman said firefighters arrived at the scene of the explosion on Saturday morning at the bakery on Rue Trevise in the 9th arrondissement of north-central Paris.
The fatalities, which included two firefighters, were announced by French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner later on Saturday afternoon.
Earlier, fire officials said at least 36 people had been injured, with 12 in critical condition.
French television showed emergency vehicles surrounding the area. Images shared on social media showed the area around the adjacent Rue De Montyon covered in debris with a fire raging in at least one building.
“I was sleeping and woke up by the blast wave,” Claire Sallavuard, who lives on the Rue de Trevise where the explosion occurred, told AFP.
“All the windows in the apartment exploded, doors were blown off their hinges, I had to walk on the door to leave the room, all the kids were panicking, they couldn’t get out of their room,” she said.
Rescuers eventually used a ladder to evacuate the family, who lived on the first floor.
Police sources said firefighters had already been responding to an alert of a gas leak at the site when the explosion occurred.
The explosion took place amid heavy security in Paris and around France in the wake of yellow vest protests expected later on Saturday.
|Emergency workers and firefighters put out the fire at the bakery on the corner of the streets Saint-Cecile and Rue de Trevise in central Paris [Thomas Samson/AFP]