A Spanish female tourist was killed in a powerful explosion in the center of Paris on Saturday morning, bringing the blast’s death toll up to three, French Interior Ministry said.
The explosion occurred at around 09:00 (0800 GMT) in a closed bakery on the Rue de Trevise in the 9th district of Paris due to a suspected gas leak.
The Spanish national, who was among the ten seriously wounded people, succumbed to her injuries in the afternoon.
Two firefighters, aged 27 and 28 years, also lost their lives due to a “dramatic explosion” which happened as “they were looking for a gas leak in the building”, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said earlier on Saturday.
At least 37 others, mostly passers-by, had lighter injuries.
“All of the surrounding buildings were affected. I felt a huge shock, and I almost fell, and at the same time, a lot of things were coming at me, pieces of glass and other things. My first reaction was to protect my head, but I still had a head injury, and my neck was bleeding. Luckily it was not serious, and it has healed now. After the blast, I just went to clean myself, it was very dirty,” said an employee of a hotel across the street from the accident site.
The huge blast blew out the entire ground floor of the building. Shop windows were smashed, other buildings and parked vehicles were also damaged by the force of the blast.
More than 200 firefighters and 100 police officers have been deployed. Two helicopters also landed on the nearby Place de l’Opera to evacuate victims.
The Regional Directorate of Judicial Police has opened an investigation into the explosion.