Paris gas explosion leaves 2 dead and nearly 50 injured

Just hours after the blast, thousands of yellow vest protesters marched just a few hundred meters from the scene of the explosion.

By REUTERS
January 12, 2019 15:27
1 minute read.
Firemen work at the site of an explosion in a bakery shop in the 9th District in Paris, France

Firemen work at the site of an explosion in a bakery shop in the 9th District in Paris, France, January 12, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS/BENOIT TESSIER)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Two firefighters died and nearly people 50 were injured in a massive gas explosion that gutted the ground floor of a building in a central Paris shopping district on Saturday, authorities said.

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.

"As firemen were looking for a gas leak in the building, a dramatic explosion took place," Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said, adding that one of the firemen had been buried under debris for several hours.



Castaner said on his Twitter feed that two firefighters had died, and that 10 people, including one firefighter, had serious injuries. Another 37 people had lighter injuries, he said. Earlier he had told reporters that two civilians had also died.



Just hours after the blast, thousands of yellow vest protesters marched noisily but peacefully through the Grands Boulevards shopping district of northern Paris, just a few hundred meters (yards) from the scene of the explosion.



In recent years, France has suffered a string of deadly Islamist militant attacks in Paris, Nice, Marseille and elsewhere but authorities quickly ruled out foul play.



"A this stage we can say it (the gas blast) is clearly an accident," Paris prosecutor Remi Heitz told reporters.



A police source said the explosion tore apart a bakery on the rue Trevise and witnesses said the force of the blast shattered nearby storefronts and rocked buildings hundreds of meters away.



More than 200 firefighters joined the rescue operation and two helicopters landed on the nearby Place de l'Opera to evacuate victims. Ambulances struggled to access the blast area because of police barriers set up to contain any violence by yellow vest protesters.



An eyewitness at a hotel nearby said he saw flames envelop the ground floor of the building blown out by the blast.



"There was broken glass everywhere, storefronts were blown out and windows were shattered up to the third and fourth floors," said 38-year-old David Bangura.

He said that as he approached the scene, a woman was crying for help from the first floor of a building: "Help us, help us, we have a child."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Mike Pompeo
January 22, 2019
Preparations under way for peace plan after Israeli elections, Pompeo says

By MICHAEL WILNER