HomeTop HeadlinesExplosion Rocks Paris - 24 Injured

Explosion Rocks Paris – 24 Injured

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An explosion occurred Wednesday, June 20, in a building on Paris’ Left Bank, causing injuries to at least 24 people and setting off a fire that emitted smoke over the city’s iconic landmarks. 

Authorities suspect a gas leak as the cause and have initiated a police investigation. 

The incident took place near the esteemed Val de Grace military hospital, situated in one of Paris’ affluent neighborhoods.

The explosion resulted in the collapse of the building’s facade. 

The mayor of the 5th arrondissement reported that emergency services were searching for two potentially trapped people. A total of 270 firefighters and 70 emergency vehicles were deployed to the scene. 

Ambulances, accompanied by blaring sirens, traversed the area while residents gradually regained access to the previously cordoned-off Rue Saint-Jacques. 

According to Paris Police Chief Laurent Nunez, the affected building housed the Paris American Academy, a private school renowned for its programs in fashion design, interior design, fine arts, and creative writing.

Reports confirmed that 24 people were injured, four in critical condition and the remaining 20 sustaining less severe injuries. The force of the blast caused people to be thrown off their feet, as reported by a Paris police official. An eyewitness, Jema Halbert, the owner of a nearby butcher’s shop, described the shocking ordeal and the subsequent flames.

While some officials, such as Deputy Mayor Edouard Civel, attributed the explosion to a gas leak, others were more cautious, awaiting the results of the ongoing investigation. The Paris prosecutor’s office initiated a probe into possible violations of safety regulations. 

Firefighters effectively prevented the fire from spreading to neighboring buildings, which were destabilized by the blast and had to be evacuated. The explosion shattered windows in the vicinity, according to witnesses and the police chief.

Given Paris’ dense population and aging infrastructure, gas explosions have occurred in the city before, such as the one in January 2019 that claimed four lives and injured dozens. 

The investigation aims to establish whether the incident resulted from a violation of safety protocols or individual negligence.

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