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
PARIS:A massive explosion probably caused by a gas leak gutted the ground floor of a building in central Paris's shopping district on Saturday (Jan 12), seriously injuring at least 12 people, French police said.
A police source said the explosion tore apart a bakery on the rue Trevise in the Grands Boulevards district. The force of the blast shattered nearby storefronts and rocked buildings hundreds of metres away, witnesses said.
"The situation is now under control," Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters on the scene. He said more than 200 firemen were involved in the rescue operation.
Twelve people were seriously injured by the powerful explosion, including five who are in critical condition, officials said.
"Twelve people are seriously injured, including three firefighters, and 24 others have more minor injuries," Commander Eric Moulin of the Paris fire service told journalists at the scene.
"Among the 12, two firefighters and three civilians are in life-threatening condition," he said.