Police said at least nine people were seriously injured by the blast which tore through a boulangerie in central Paris, France, shortly before 8am GMT (9am local time). The blast was so powerful it rocked buildings hundreds of metres away, according to witness reports. Shocking images show people being carried out on stretchers and debris strewn across streets in front of buildings with blown-out windows. Firefighters have rescued several people in a burning building resulting from the blast. People are being urged to stay away from the area for their own safety.
Where did huge Boulangerie blast take place? What caused it?
The blast tore through a French boulangerie at the corner of Saint-Cecile and Rue de Trevise in Paris’s 9th District, a short walk away from the Louvre Museum.
Famed for its theatres, 9th district is home to the Paris Opera and department-lined shopping boulevards.
The cause of the explosion is not known, although police suspect it may be the result of a gas leak.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters on the scene the situation was “now under control”
He told said 200 firemen were involved in the rescue operation.
One eyewitness, David Bangura, said he saw a fire erupt after the explosion.
The 38-year-old said: “There was broken glass everywhere, storefronts were blown out and windows were shattered up to the third and fourth floors.”
Mr Banguara added he saw one woman crying for help from the first floor of a building, shouting, “Help us, help us, we have a child”.