Rescuers search for two missing after blast near Paris’ Latin Quarter.
At least 37 persons were hurt when a blast occurred in the late afternoon on Rue Saint-Jacques, which connects the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral with the Sorbonne University. Four of those injured were in critical condition at the hospital.
Gerald Darmanin, the interior minister, said that sniffer dogs had detected a scent beneath the pile of stone that had been spread out along Rue Saint-Jacques.
At the blast site, Darmanin informed reporters that it was conceivable to uncover dead or perhaps survivors tonight.
The Paris American Academy, a popular design school with international students, was housed in a building whose exterior was devastated by the explosion.
A large fireball that reached several floors high and a deafening explosion were both described by witnesses.
A safety perimeter surrounding the area was helped by the soldiers.
It is still too early to determine what caused the incident, according to the Paris prosecutor’s office.
However, the local deputy mayor, Edouard Civel, mentioned a gas explosion in a tweet, and witnesses told BFM TV that there was a strong gas odour before to the explosion.
Rahman Oliur, who runs a grocery store a few doors away from the American Academy, stated, “The shop shook violently, it felt like a bomb blast.”
Khal Ilsey, a pub employee, claimed to have heard a “huge explosion” before hurrying outside and seen a ferocious fire at the end of the road.
Fire and Rubble
At 4:55 p.m. (14:55 GMT), the explosion happened as employees were leaving for the day. Although there were no initial signs that any foreigners were among the victims, the location is frequently visited by tourists and international students in the early summer.
Buildings close by were evacuated. First responders were still providing shock treatments to residents more than two hours after the explosion. On the pavement, one woman passed out.
Early indications suggested that the blast originated within the fallen structure, according to Paris Prosecutor Laure Beccuau. Investigators will check to see if the building conditions violated laws or if someone had acted carelessly, he added.
The fires were put out with the help of more than 300 firemen.
Rue Saint-Jacques connects the Latin Quarter, which has long been known as the residence of numerous French and expatriate writers, singers, and artists, with the Val de Grace military hospital. It is also only a few streets away from the well-liked Jardin du Luxembourg.
Art historian Monique Mosser stated, “I was at home writing… I thought it was a bomb,” adding that several of the windows in her building had been blown out by the blast’s shockwave.
“A neighbour came to the door and informed me that the fire department wanted us to leave as soon as possible. My phone and laptop were in my hand. I didn’t even consider going to obtain my medicine.
A gas leak in the 9th arrondissement in January 2019 resulted in an explosion that left 4 persons dead and 66 injured. The Notre-Dame Cathedral experienced a fire in April of that year that destroyed a large portion of the roof and caused additional damage before it was put out.