Loud explosion in central Paris

Fire fighters attend a blast at a bakery in central Paris

Image Fire fighters attend a blast at a bakery in central Paris

Two firefighters were killed in the Paris bakery blast on Saturday, 12 January, the Paris prosecutor's office said, correcting the overall figure given earlier by France's interior minister.

Other reports say that many people have been injured.

Firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze and exacuate some people from the building using ladders while emergency workers treated some of the injured at the scene. Castaner later corrected himself in a tweet.

The blast went off at around 9 a.m.local time (0800 UTC).

Photographs from the blast scene show that many vehicles that were parked near the building were also damaged.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters that two civilians and two firefighters had died of their injuries from the gas blast.

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"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. Debris from a burned auto and broken glass littered the pavement.

Pedro Goncalves, an employee at the Hotel Mercure opposite the bakery, said that about an hour later a blast rocked the surrounding streets.

"In the middle of nothing, I heard one big explosion and then a lot of pressure came at me (and) a lot of black smoke and glass", the witness said.

Police have encouraged members of the public to stay away from the area as emergency services attend to the scene.

The accident occurred with Paris under security lockdown for a ninth consecutive Saturday of "yellow vest" protests, with large parts of the French capital blocked off by riot police.

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