Residents in the apartments above the bakery were trapped while the fire raged. (David Bangura via Reuters)
A Paris prosecutor says two were killed and 47 were injured in an explosion in a bakery apparently caused by a gas leak in central Paris.
- The authorities declared that the explosion had no probable malicious intent
- Firefighters were already witnessing a gas leak when the explosion struck [1
He said 10 people are in critical condition and 37 others are less seriously injured.
He paid tribute to the courage of rescuers who saved the life of a fireman buried under the rubble for two and a half hours.  External link:
Anne Hildago tweet – Paris blast
The mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, who was also on the scene, has extended a "message of affection and solidarity" to the victims.
The Paris public prosecutor Remy Heitz said "at this stage we can say it seems from casual origin, this would be a loss of gas".
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.
The authorities were on alert in the French capital for a ninth consecutive weekend of "yellow jacket" protests, with large parts of the city center blocked by the riot
The force of the explosion destroyed the nearby shop windows and the buildings plummeted hundreds of meters away, witnesses said.
"The situation is now under control," said Castaner.
He said more than 200 firefighters were involved in the rescue operation
The people in the surrounding buildings were trapped in their buildings like broken glass and other street-strewn debris.
(AP: Thibault Camus)
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.
An eyewitness who was staying in a hotel nearby said he saw a huge fire explode in the building exploded from the explosion.
"There were broken glass everywhere, the windows were turned off and the windows shattered to the third and fourth floors," said 38-year-old David Bangura.
He said that as he approached the scene, a woman was crying asking for help from the first floor of a building: "Help us, help us, we have a son"
Two helicopters landed in the nearby Place de l'Opera to evacuate the victims.
A rescue helicopter was called to the Place de l'Opera in Paris to transport the injured. (AP: Thibault Camus)
AP / Reuters
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