You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Paris bakery explosion: 'Gas leak' blast rocks French capital leaving four dead

Mirror logo Mirror 12-01-2019 Peter Allen
UP NEXT
UP NEXT

A massive explosion rocked Paris this morning killing four people and sparking a huge emergency response to piles of rubble and screaming residents.

Police and paramedics were scrambled to a quiet street in the French capital after a suspected gas leak caused a giant blast.

At least four people, including two firefighters, were killed and dozens more injured after a fireball ripped through Hubert bakery on the Rue de Trevise, in Paris' ninth arrondissement. 

Before the deaths were announced, 12 people were said to be in critical condition, according to a fire department spokesman. Four of those, including two firemen who were called to the gas leak prior to the explosion, were in a 'life-threatening' condition, a police spokesman confirmed.

Shocking images showed a buildings either gutted or on fire and piles of rubble littering the street.

© Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited It is thought the blast, which occurred at around 9am local time, was caused by a gas leak in the bakery.

More than 200 emergency responders attended the scene, France's Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said.

"There are casualties," said one emergency worker.

a large red truck driving down a street © Credits: AFP/Getty Images "A whole shop front has been taken out, and other buildings have also been severely damaged.

"It’s a Saturday morning – a lot of people were at home. Leaking gas caused the explosion, which is being viewed as an accident."

The fire service has been seen helping stranded residents out of the apartments above the shop.

Fire burns at the site of an explosion at a bakery shop in Paris © Reuters Fire burns at the site of an explosion at a bakery shop in Paris One injured victim, who works in a nearby hotel, spoke to reporters at the scene, claiming fire crews were called to reports of a gas leak in a bakery and the explosion happened around an hour later.

He also said the guests in the hotel were badly injured as a result of the blast.

An eyewitness who was staying at a hotel nearby said he saw a huge fire erupt in the building blown out by the blast.

"There was broken glass everywhere, storefronts were blown out and windows were shattered up to the third and fourth floors," said 38-year-old David Bangura.

He said that as he approached the scene, a woman was crying for help from the first floor of a building: "Help us, help us, we have a child".

© Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

Two helicopters landed on the nearby Place de l'Opera to evacuate victims.

According to opening hours listed online, the Hubert bakery is closed on Saturdays.

Police are warning people to avoid the area and leave the surrounding streets free for emergency vehicles.

Firemen work at the site of an explosion in a bakery shop in the 9th District in Paris © Reuters Firemen work at the site of an explosion in a bakery shop in the 9th District in Paris

Stranded residents in the apartments directly above the bakery were being led to safety by members of the fire service.

Some were still in pyjamas and dressing gowns as they were helped down ladders.

Those injured in the explosion was seen being stretchered into an ambulance by paramedics.

a group of people walking on a city street © Credits: X02011

Flames were seen on the ground floor of the Hubert patisserie, and there appeared to be significant damage to the upper floors of the building, too.

Nearby vehicles were damaged and upturned.

One witness told French news channel BFM TV: "I was sleeping and suddenly I heard a big explosion and windows exploded in our building. I went down and I saw it was the bakery, it's carnage."

Another resident, who managed to escape safely, added that there was "nothing left" of her apartment.

© Credits: AFP/Getty Images

A Twitter user, who lives nearby, said his windows were rattled by the force of the blast.

Another said she "heard screaming, like some were still trapped."

Others say the blast could be heard as far as two kilometres away from the bakery.

Firemen work at the site of an explosion in a bakery shop in the 9th District in Paris © Reuters Firemen work at the site of an explosion in a bakery shop in the 9th District in Paris One social media user wrote, "The impact is so huge, it woke everyone up. People are still stuck there."

The French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe arrived at the scene around an hour after the explosion.

The incident has occurred on a day of high security in the French capital.

  a group of people walking in front of a building: Paris Explosion According to several journalists and witnesses, an explosion occurred in the 9th arrondissement of the French capital, rue de Treviso. Its causes are not yet known. The journalist Matthieu Croissandeau, among other journalists and witnesses, reported an explosion in the heart of the capital, rue de Treviso, this morning of 12 January. © Credits: Twitter Paris Explosion According to several journalists and witnesses, an explosion occurred in the 9th arrondissement of the French capital, rue de Treviso. Its causes are not yet known. The journalist Matthieu Croissandeau, among other journalists and witnesses, reported an explosion in the heart of the capital, rue de Treviso, this morning of 12 January.

There are 5000 police on the streets of Paris today for an Act 9 ‘Day of Rage’ by the anti-government Yellow Vest movement.

They have been behind numerous acts of vandalism, including destroying parts of the Arc de Triomphe itself.

Fires have been rife and buildings smashed to pieces during nine weeks of Saturday rioting by the movement.

Paris has also been targeting by terrorist groups in recent years, including Islamic State and Al-Qaeda.

However, gas leaks frequently lead to explosions in the city, and today’s will be investigated in full.

More from The Mirror

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon