Emergency services scrambled following ‘huge’ explosion in central Paris

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Emergency services scrambled following ‘huge’ explosion in central Paris

Two people have died following an explosion at a Paris bakery believed to be linked to a gas leak, police have said.

At least 36 others were injured in the explosion which happened at the Hubert bakery shop on the Rue de Trevise in the 9th arrondissement shortly before 9am.

Dramatic pictures show flames coming from the building and large amounts of debris covering the streets.

METRO GRAB TWITTER Explosion in Paris, France https://twitter.com/ferozwala/status/1084002027875659776

A fire is thought to have started at a bakery shop on the Rue de Trevise and was followed by an explosion (Picture: ferozwala/Twitter)

METRO GRAB TWITTER W/ PERMISSION Explosion in Paris, France https://twitter.com/woodinhyo/status/1084000064899608576

Shocking pictures show buildings on fire and large amounts of debris covering the streets (Picture: woodinhyo/Twitter)

The windows of neighbouring buildings were also blown out as cars were hurled by the impact of the explosion.

A police spokeswoman said firefighters were called to the scene to investigate a gas leak at the bakery, but the blast didn’t happen until after they arrived and warned residents to stay inside.

The bakery is thought to have been closed at the time of the explosion.

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Firemen work at the site of an explosion in a bakery shop in the 9th District in Paris, France, January 12, 2019 REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Firefighters are at the scene of the blast and people are being urged to avoid the area (Picture: Reuters)

Firefighters extinguish a fire after the explosion of a bakery on the corner of the streets Saint-Cecile and Rue de Trevise in central Paris on January 12, 2019. (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP)THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images

A police spokeswoman confirmed there are several injuries but no reports of any deaths (Picture: Getty)

Pedro Goncalves, an employee at the Hotel Mercure opposite the bakery, said he saw firefighters enter the bakery in the morning but he and his co-workers ‘thought maybe it’s a joke, a false alarm’ and they went back to work. About an hour later, he said a blast rocked the surrounding streets.

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‘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,’ he said. ‘And I had just enough time to get down and cover myself and protect my head.’

Goncalves said he ‘felt a lot of things fall on me’ and that he was struck by shattered glass. He had a few cuts on his head, and spots of blood on his sweater and undershirt.

‘Thank god I’m OK,’ he said, saying that the blast was so powerful that he heard whistling in his ears in the aftermath.

Goncalves said that he ran for the exit and then went to check on the hotel’s clients, adding that some of them had head injuries and were bleeding. He said that the hotel was ‘destroyed’ in the blast.

Firefighters intervene after the explosion of a bakery on the corner of the streets Saint-Cecile and Rue de Trevise in central Paris on January 12, 2019. - A large explosion badly damaged a bakery in central Paris, injuring several people and smashing windows in surrounding buildings, police and AFP journalists at the scene said. A fire broke out after the blast at around 9am (0800 GMT) in the busy 9th district of the city, which police suspect may have been caused by a gas leak. (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP)THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images

Witnesses say the explosion shook surrounding buildings (Picture: Getty)

A woman is evacuated by firefighters after the explosion of a bakery on the corner of the streets Saint-Cecile and Rue de Trevise in central Paris on January 12, 2019. - A large explosion badly damaged a bakery in central Paris, injuring several people and smashing windows in surrounding buildings, police and AFP journalists at the scene said. A fire broke out after the blast at around 9am (0800 GMT) in the busy 9th district of the city, which police suspect may have been caused by a gas leak. (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP)THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images

Emergency services are at the scene rescuing residents from the area (Picture: Getty)

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Another witness, Pranav Chittur, who heard the explosion go off, told Metro.co.uk: ‘The fire woke me up in the morning. My entire bed shook.

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‘I immediately called my friend as his hotel is on the street where it happened. At first it looked like a fire, but then there was lot of rubble. People were stuck in the rubble as well.

‘The impact of the explosion broke a few windows. It was chaotic so we only got a few pictures before we were all cordoned off.’

Emergency workers on the scene said: ”There are casualties. A whole shop front has been taken out, and other buildings have also been severely damaged.

‘It’s a Saturday morning – a lot of people were at home. Leaking gas caused the explosion, which is being viewed as an accident.’

People are evacuated by firefighters from their apartment after the explosion of a bakery on the corner of the streets Saint-Cecile and Rue de Trevise in central Paris on January 12, 2019. - A large explosion badly damaged a bakery in central Paris, injuring several people and smashing windows in surrounding buildings, police and AFP journalists at the scene said. A fire broke out after the blast at around 9am (0800 GMT) in the busy 9th district of the city, which police suspect may have been caused by a gas leak. (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP)THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images

The building reportedly is an apartment block (Picture: Getty)

The police spokeswoman confirmed that several injuries have been reported to police but no deaths.

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 today.

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