French authorities said two firefighters were killed and 47 people injured in a powerful explosion and fire apparently caused by a gas leak at a Paris bakery Saturday that blasted out windows and overturned cars.
Firefighters pulled injured victims from windows and evacuated residents as smoke billowed over Rue de Trevise in the 9th arrondissement of north-central Paris.
The Paris prosecutor’s office said that two firefighters have been killed in the bakery blast, correcting the overall figure of four dead given earlier by France’s interior minister.
Authorities said 10 people were in critical condition and 37 others less seriously injured.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters at the scene “unfortunately the human toll is particularly serious.” He paid homage to the courage of rescuers who notably saved the life of one firefighter who was buried under the rubble for two and a half hours.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who was also at the scene, extended a “message of affection and solidarity” to the victims.
She said many residents and tourists have been evacuated from neighboring buildings and hotels. Paris authorities will help provide temporary accommodation, the mayor said.
Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said that the cause appears to be an accidental gas leak. He said that Paris firefighters were already at the scene to investigate a suspected gas leak at the bakery when the explosion happened.