Paris gas explosion: Three killed, among them a Spanish tourist

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Two firefighters and a Spanish tourist were killed when a gas leak sparked a huge explosion near a bakery in central Paris on Saturday, the Paris prosecutor’s office said.

Forty-seven others were injured in the blast, 10 of them seriously, the prosecutor’s office said, after initial reports erroneously said four people had been killed.

Meanwhile, the Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borel confirmed that a Spanish citizen died following in the explosion.

Borell wrote on Twitter: “I profoundly regret the death of three people in an explosion in central Paris, among them one Spanish citizen.”

El Pais reported the woman was a tourist staying in a hotel near the bakery where the explosion took place on Saturday, according to the Associated Press.

Earlier, French interior minister said four people were killed, including two firefighters.

Authorities were on high alert in the French capital for a ninth consecutive Saturday of “yellow vest” protests, with large parts of the city center blocked off by riot police.

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 meters 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.

An eyewitness who was staying at a hotel nearby said he saw saw a huge fire erupt in the building blown out by the blast.

“There was broken glass everywhere, storefronts were blown out and windows were shattered up to the third and fourth floors,” said 38-year-old David Bangura.

He said that as he approached the scene, a woman was crying for help from the first floor of a building: “Help us, help us, we have a child”.

Two helicopters landed on the nearby Place de l’Opera to evacuate victims.