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  1. ITV Report

Firefighters among three killed in explosion at Paris bakery 'caused by gas leak'

Three people - including two firefighters - have died after a powerful explosion at a bakery in central Paris on Saturday morning.

Firefighters were already at the scene in the Rue de Trevise to inspect a suspected gas leak when the explosion happened. The leak is believed to have caused the deadly blast.

Spain's foreign minister confirmed that a Spanish woman was among those who died.

A further 47 people have been injured, 10 critically, according to France's interior minister Christophe Castaner, who said: "Unfortunately the human toll is particularly serious."

The explosion is believed to have been caused by a gas leak. Credit: AP

Mr Castaner had earlier told reporters that four people had died, but the Paris prosecutor's office said only the two firefighters had died.

One firefighter was saved by his colleagues after being buried under the rubble for two-and-a-half hours.

El Pais reported that the Spanish woman was a tourist staying in a hotel nearby.

The explosion overturned cars and scattered debris across the street in the 9th arrondissement of north-central Paris.

Debris from cars and broken glass littered the street. Credit: AP
Firefighters tend to a wounded person near the site of the explosion. Credit: AP

Pedro Goncalves was working in the hotel opposite the bakery when the explosion happened. He told ITV News he had seen firefighters in the area an hour before the blast.

Mr Goncalves, who was injured by flying glass from the explosion, said he took cover before going out into the street, where he said "everything was destroyed" and "people were screaming".

Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said that the cause appears to be an accidental gas leak.

He said that "the judicial police have started investigating, the scientific police as well. The origin of the explosion seems accidental. We are at the beginning of the investigation, everything will be made to establish the exact origin of the explosion as soon as possible."

Witnesses described the overwhelming sound of the blast and said they heard screams coming from apartments above the bakery.

Firefighters pulled injured victims out of windows and evacuated residents.

Debris from a burned car and broken glass littered the pavement after the explosion.

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Around 200 firefighters were involved in the operation.

The building is around the corner from the Folies-Bergere theatre 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 the ninth successive weekend of yellow vest protests.

Firefighters pulled injured victims out of windows and evacuated residents. Credit: ITV News