PARIS – Two firefighters were killed when a gas leak sparked a huge explosion at a bakery in central Paris early on Saturday, the Paris prosecutor’s office said.
Thirty-seven others were injured in the blast, 10 of them seriously, the office said, after initial reports erroneously said four people had been killed.
The powerful explosion blasted out windows and overturned cars, police said.
Firefighters pulled injured victims out of windows and evacuated residents as smoke billowed out of the building on Rue de Trevise in the 9th arrondissement of north-central Paris. Witnesses described on French television the overwhelming sound of the blast and told of people trapped inside nearby buildings.
Silver-helmeted firefighters and red firetrucks filled the street and inspected adjoining courtyards. Debris from a burned car and broken glass littered the pavement. A vehicle from gas company GRDF was stationed nearby.
The building is around the corner from the Folies-Bergere theater and not far from the shopping district that includes the famed headquarters of Galeries Lafayette.
The explosion came amid heavy security in Paris and around France for “yellow vest” protests expected later Saturday.