PARIS-Four people died and almost 50 were injured in a massive gas explosion that gutted the ground floor of a building in a central Paris shopping district on January 12, authorities said. Firefighters were already at the scene before the explosion to investigate the cause of the leak, he said.
A fire broke out after the blast, said to have been caused by a pocket of gas, at around 9am (0800 GMT) in the city's 9th district, a residential and shopping area.
Castaner said on his Twitter feed that two firefighters had died, and that 10 people, including one firefighter, had serious injuries.
"The human toll is heavy", prosecutor Rémy Heitz told reporters. He added that "the situation is under control" and described his "shock" after seeing the damage.
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More than 200 firefighters are responding to the incident, Castaner wrote. The spokeswoman, who wasn't authorised to be publicly named, provided no further details.
Emergency services had arrived at the site of the blast and were giving medical assistance to those injured, reports said. Charred debris and broken glass covered the pavement around the apartment building housing the bakery, which resembled a blackened carcass.
The blast was so powerful that besides destroying the bakery, it also shattered nearby storefronts.
According to the BFMTV broadcaster, a bakery caught fire after the blast.
Distressing images coming out of central #Paris - huge explosion at a bakery cafe on a Saturday morning.