Dramatic city explosion sees buildings catch fire and smoke billow into sky

  • Bookmark
  • Don’t miss a thing! Sign up to the Daily Star’s newsletter

    We have more newsletters

    An explosion in central Paris has caused several buildings to catch fire, leaving several people requiring urgent medical care.

    At least seven people are in critical condition and 16 more are less severely injured after the blaze broke out at a building in the French capital's Val de Grâce district and quickly appeared to spread, BMF TV reports.

    Locals in the surrounding area reported hearing one explosion followed by a smaller one just before 5pm local time (4pm BST).

    READ MORE: Hospital 'stabbing on ward' horror as patients flee and 'shelter inside safe rooms'

    One witness told France Info public radio: “It was shocking. It’s a disaster”.

    Some 230 firefighters, nine doctors and several police descended upon the scene in the city's fifth arrondissement, which officials have told people to avoid while police continue making checks on the area.

    French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin confirmed a fire had broken out on Rue Saint-Jacques, near the Jardin Du Luxembourg and the Sorbonne University.

    Police and witnesses also said the facade of one building, reported to be the Paris American Academy fashion school, had fallen onto the street because of the explosion.

    One local told BMF TV: "I live right next door. At 4.55 pm, we heard a huge explosion. Everyone started going out into the street."

    • Nicola Bulley diving specialist offers theory about Titanic submarine's location

    "The facade has completely fallen," he said of the damaged building.

    Meanwhile another resident chimed in: "We felt an explosion that knocked down the false ceilings of our building."

    It is believed the fire was caused by a gas explosion, but this has yet to be confirmed.

    For the latest breaking news and stories from across the globe from the Daily Star, sign up for our newsletter by clicking here.

    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Breaking News

    Source: Read Full Article