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Paris bakery 'gas explosion' kills two Paris bakery 'gas explosion' kills two firefighters
(about 1 hour later)
Two firefighters have died in a massive explosion caused by a “pocket of gas” in a six-storey building in Paris.Two firefighters have died in a massive explosion caused by a “pocket of gas” in a six-storey building in Paris.
Another 47 people were injured, 10 of them critically, including a third fire officer, in the blast in the 9th arrondissement of the capital on Saturday morning.Another 47 people were injured, 10 of them critically, including a third fire officer, in the blast in the 9th arrondissement of the capital on Saturday morning.
One of the firefighters was trapped under the rubble of the destroyed building for two-and-a-half hours before being rescued by colleagues.One of the firefighters was trapped under the rubble of the destroyed building for two-and-a-half hours before being rescued by colleagues.
The French interior minister, Christophe Castaner, told journalists at the scene two firefighters and two civilians had died. The death toll figure was later revised down by the police and confirmed by the minister in a tweet.The French interior minister, Christophe Castaner, told journalists at the scene two firefighters and two civilians had died. The death toll figure was later revised down by the police and confirmed by the minister in a tweet.
“At 8.37am the fire brigade was called to 6 Rue Trévise to investigate a gas leak. While they were there a dramatic explosion occurred,” Castaner said. He praised the courage of the firefighters who risked their lives to save people. He said one firefighter had remained under the rubble for two and a half hours before being rescued by colleagues.“At 8.37am the fire brigade was called to 6 Rue Trévise to investigate a gas leak. While they were there a dramatic explosion occurred,” Castaner said. He praised the courage of the firefighters who risked their lives to save people. He said one firefighter had remained under the rubble for two and a half hours before being rescued by colleagues.
Rémy Heitz, the Paris public prosecutor, said an investigation had been launched into the tragedy. The origin of the explosion was a “pocket of gas”. He added that the tragedy appeared to be “accidental” but that police experts would verify the exact reason for the explosion.Rémy Heitz, the Paris public prosecutor, said an investigation had been launched into the tragedy. The origin of the explosion was a “pocket of gas”. He added that the tragedy appeared to be “accidental” but that police experts would verify the exact reason for the explosion.
The blast and subsequent fire destroyed a bakery on the ground floor and destroyed apartments above. It seriously damaged several neighbouring buildings and shattered windows for 100 metres around.The blast and subsequent fire destroyed a bakery on the ground floor and destroyed apartments above. It seriously damaged several neighbouring buildings and shattered windows for 100 metres around.
Vehicles parked in the street were overturned and set alight by the force of the explosion.Vehicles parked in the street were overturned and set alight by the force of the explosion.
The blast happened as Paris prepared for a ninth weekend of gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protests across the city and elsewhere in France.The blast happened as Paris prepared for a ninth weekend of gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protests across the city and elsewhere in France.
The prime minister, Édouard Philippe, and the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, attended the scene.The prime minister, Édouard Philippe, and the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, attended the scene.
The explosion, which happened just before 9am, was heard a mile away. Dozens of firefighters, police and ambulances rushed to the scene and rapidly sealed off surrounding streets, many of them cloaked in a thick cloud of acrid smoke.The explosion, which happened just before 9am, was heard a mile away. Dozens of firefighters, police and ambulances rushed to the scene and rapidly sealed off surrounding streets, many of them cloaked in a thick cloud of acrid smoke.
The bakery owner, Hubert Beatrix, watched shocked as dozens of firefighters struggled to put out the blaze and evacuate residents of nearby buildings.The bakery owner, Hubert Beatrix, watched shocked as dozens of firefighters struggled to put out the blaze and evacuate residents of nearby buildings.
#Paris gas explosion. Fire service evacuating people from buildings around after massive explosion in boulangerie. I heard it at home a mile away. pic.twitter.com/2ZCRqLcNoU#Paris gas explosion. Fire service evacuating people from buildings around after massive explosion in boulangerie. I heard it at home a mile away. pic.twitter.com/2ZCRqLcNoU
“I have no idea what happened. There’s no gas in my shop apart from a small supply for heating. My ovens are electric,” Beatrix told the Guardian. “The shop was closed, luckily for me and my customers. Someone called me to tell me about this, but I still don’t know what happened.”“I have no idea what happened. There’s no gas in my shop apart from a small supply for heating. My ovens are electric,” Beatrix told the Guardian. “The shop was closed, luckily for me and my customers. Someone called me to tell me about this, but I still don’t know what happened.”
Commander Eric Moulin, of the Paris fire service, said: “Of those who are in a critical condition, two fire officers and three civilians have life-threatening injures. One of the firefighters was out for several minutes and rescued by his colleagues.”Commander Eric Moulin, of the Paris fire service, said: “Of those who are in a critical condition, two fire officers and three civilians have life-threatening injures. One of the firefighters was out for several minutes and rescued by his colleagues.”
The bakery was almost entirely destroyed, leaving a few columns holding up the rest of the six-storey building.The bakery was almost entirely destroyed, leaving a few columns holding up the rest of the six-storey building.
The nearby Place de l’Opera was cleared to allow three emergency helicopters to land in order to evacuate injured people.The nearby Place de l’Opera was cleared to allow three emergency helicopters to land in order to evacuate injured people.
One female resident said: “The neighbours called the fire service because there was a very strong smell of gas this morning. Fire officers knocked on doors to tell us to stay where we were and shortly after that there was an explosion. There’s nothing left of our apartment. Nothing.”One female resident said: “The neighbours called the fire service because there was a very strong smell of gas this morning. Fire officers knocked on doors to tell us to stay where we were and shortly after that there was an explosion. There’s nothing left of our apartment. Nothing.”
Killian, a local resident, said it was carnage. “The windows were blown out. It was horrible.”Killian, a local resident, said it was carnage. “The windows were blown out. It was horrible.”
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