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Two killed, scores wounded in explosion in Paris

Updated: 2019-01-12 16:49
Firemen work at the site of an explosion in a bakery shop in the 9th District in Paris, France, Jan 12, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

Two people were killed and at least 47 others were wounded when a suspected gas leak caused "a spectacular explosion" that rocked a building in central Paris on Saturday, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said.

Two firefighters succumbed to their live-threatening injuries following the blast, Castaner confirmed in a Tweet message.

The minister corrected the death toll from four to two.

Fire burns at the site of an explosion at a bakery shop in Paris, France Jan 12, 2019, in this still image obtained from a social media video. [Photo/Agencies]

He added that 10 people, including one firefighter, were seriously wounded. At least 37 others had lighter injuries when firefighters were searching the building for more victims.

"The explosion is very spectacular. The people were in the street at the time of the explosion, the casualties will be heavy," Castaner told reporters when he visited the site earlier on Saturday.

"The situation at the moment is under control. We are accompanying the wounded. And all our services are mobilized too," he added.

Television images showed the capital's shopping district turned to a devastating site. The huge blast blew out the entire ground floor of the building where the explosion was reported earlier in the day in a closed bakery on the Rue de Trevise in the 9th district of Paris.

Charred debris covered the pavement around the building with storefronts blown out and windows shattered up to the fouth floor.

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