In the Paris building explosion, four people were seriously hurt and two went missing
In the Paris building explosion, four people were seriously hurt and two went missing

Paris: Four people were seriously hurt in an explosion that tore through a building in the heart of Paris on Wednesday, officials said. The explosion may have been brought on by a gas leak, and it left a wake of devastation in the city's historic district.

According to the prosecution, rescue personnel were still searching the wreckage as of the evening for two people who were still missing and unaccounted for.
Four of the 29 injured, according to the police, are in a serious condition.
After the explosion, there was a significant fire that led to the collapse of the structure housing the fashion school. Images showed the building's surroundings to be covered in debris as the flames smouldering.

270 firefighters and 70 fire trucks battled the fire. There were also nine doctors on the scene.

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The fire department initially reported that "an explosion" had "caused the collapse of two buildings," but police later clarified that only one structure had actually collapsed.

At the scene, a number of witnesses reported hearing "a giant explosion."
AFP reporters reported that windows up to 400 metres (440 yards) away were broken.

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, organised a crisis team and posted on Twitter, "My thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones in the first place."
At the scene, Paris police chief Laurent Nunez announced that the "violent" fire that erupted following the explosion has now been "contained," adding that "work is still taking place under the rubble" to find any additional potential victims.

Nunez added that the firefighters "were evacuated" and "prevented the spread of the fire to two adjoining buildings which were seriously destabilised by the explosion."

The district's mayor claimed on Twitter that the explosion was caused by a "gas explosion," but other officials did not concur.
The primary structure impacted is a private fashion school called Paris American Academy that is located next to the former Val-de-Grace military hospital, according to Florence Berthout, mayor of Paris' 5th district.

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The "quite enormous" explosion's noise, according to the mayor, "in part of the district. Prosecutors said an investigation into the explosion's causes was started right away.

Gerald Darmanin, the interior minister, had earlier requested on Twitter that people avoid the area to prevent obstructing the widespread deployment of police and firefighters.

In order to get to the scene, he has now cut short a trip to the eastern city of Nancy.
Tall flames and smoke could be seen coming from the structure in photos taken by AFP at the scene, which is close to the Luxembourg Gardens on Place Alphonse-Laveran.

The location is on the outskirts of Paris's popular tourist destination, the Latin Quarter.
Anthony Halbert, who owns a butcher shop on the same street as the destroyed structure, remarked, "It was like in the movies."

Less than two minutes after the first explosion, "we heard a second explosion, and we saw the front of the building collapse," he recalled.


Student Alexis, 23, who lives across from the building, claimed that after hearing 'a huge bang', his windows were blown out.
There was smoke, flying debris, and leaves, he said, adding, "It was really scary." We were unsure as to whether it was a terrorist attack.

A nearby medical research institute employee named Sarah Taheraly reported feeling the building she works in tremble. She described the sound as being muffled.

There was a lot of noise, according to a different witness who works at the nearby Catholic education secretariat, SGEC. In the middle of a meeting, both I and others lost our balance.

The man who declined to give his name claimed that one of his coworkers had noticed a strong petrol smell in the street just before the explosion.

Officials claimed they lacked sufficient information to definitively pinpoint the explosion's cause.
Reporters were told by Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau that "we are obviously counting on the lightly injured people to provide the investigation with input so we can understand what happened."

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In the French capital, there have been a number of gas-related explosion incidents.
The explosion brought to mind a devastating blast that shook Paris in January 2019, when a building on the Rue de Trevise in the ninth district was destroyed due to a suspected gas leak, killing four people, including two firefighters.

Numerous nearby windows were blown out by the shockwave, and dozens of families were compelled to flee their homes for several months. Four years after the disaster, a significant portion of the street is still off-limits.
In connection with that explosion, Paris city hall has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, and the legal dispute over the precise cause is ongoing.


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