More than 30 injured, at least two missing in explosion in central Paris

A strong explosion and fire erupted in central Paris on Wednesday, prompting the evacuation of buildings in the area. Officials said 33 people were injured, four of them in serious condition and two more missing on Wednesday night.

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The explosion hit a design school popular with foreign students in the 5th arrondissement of the French capital on the edge of the Latin Quarter, causing the building to collapse.

French Interior Minister Gérald Dalmanin said rescue workers were still searching for the two missing people in the rubble in the evening.

He told reporters at the scene that four of the victims were in mortal danger with serious injuries, while the other 33 had minor injuries.

“violent” explosion

Borough Mayor Florence Bertaud described the “extremely violent” explosion, which said shards of glass were still falling from the building.

Police spokesman Roubna Atta said it was too early to determine the origin of the fire and could not confirm reports that it was caused by a gas explosion.

Television footage showed debris from the American Academy in Paris littering the rue Saint-Jacques, with at least two nearby buildings burning and smoking.

The explosion occurred at 4:55 pm local time, just as workers were heading home. About 70 fire engines and 270 firefighters were involved in the emergency response.

Rue Saint-Jacques leads from Notre-Dame Cathedral to the Sorbonne and the Val de Grace, and is a few blocks from the popular Luxembourg Gardens.

(with AFP) More than 30 injured, at least two missing in explosion in central Paris

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