PARIS – The Latest on blast at Paris bakery (all local times):
A spokesman for the Paris fire department said 36 people, including 12 in critical condition, were injured in an explosion apparently caused by a gas leak.
The spokesperson of the Paris Fire Department, Eric Moulin, told reporters that five people were in danger of life, including two firefighters.
The public prosecutor of Paris, Remy Heitz, said that "at this stage we can say that it seems of random origin, it would be a gas leak". He said that Paris firefighters were already in place for a suspected loss of gas on Saturday morning when the explosion occurred. Investigations are under way to determine the exact cause of the explosion.
Witnesses described the overwhelming sound of the explosion. Charred scrap and broken glass covered the floor around the building that housed the bakery, which looked like a blackened carcass.
A witness says he saw the firefighters in Paris enter a bakery in the morning, but he and his collaborators "thought maybe it was a joke, a false alarm" and went back to work.
Pedro Goncalves, employed at the Mercure Hotel in front of the bakery, said about an hour after an explosion rocked the surrounding streets.
"In the middle of nowhere, I heard a big explosion and then a lot of pressure came to me (and) a lot of black and glass smoke," he said. "And I just had time to lower myself and cover myself and protect my head."
Goncalves said he "heard many things fall on me" and that he was hit by broken glass. He had some cuts on his head and blood stains on his sweater and shirt.
"Thank God I'm fine," he said, saying that the explosion was so powerful that he heard whistling in his ears later. Goncalves said he ran to the exit and then went to check out the hotel customers, adding that some of them had head injuries and were bleeding. He said the hotel was "destroyed" in the explosion.
The Paris police say that several people were injured in an explosion and fired at a bakery believed to be caused by a gas leak.
A spokeswoman for the Paris police said the firefighters are currently on the scene of the explosion Saturday morning in the bakery of Rue Trevise, in the 9th arrondissement of central-northern Paris. He said that several injuries were reported to the police but without deaths. The spokesperson, who was not authorized to be publicly appointed, did not provide further details.
French television has shown emergency vehicles surrounding the area.
The explosion occurred in the midst of strong security in Paris and France for the protests of the yellow jackets that would occur on Saturday.
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