Nfter a gas explosion, several buildings caught fire in central Paris. The fire brigade called on the population to stay away from the scene of the fire near the Jardin du Luxembourg and to allow the rescue workers to intervene quickly. As the city councilor Edouard Civel announced, there was a gas explosion on the Place Alphonse Laveran on Wednesday. Several buildings were on fire. Video footage showed a collapsed, burning building. The police spoke of seven seriously injured. Another nine people were injured.
The reason for the explosion was a gas leak, district mayor Florence Berthout told the AFP news agency. The public prosecutor’s office began investigations into negligent bodily harm.
The broadcaster France Info quoted an eyewitness. “It’s shocking, everything is level with the ground.” Another video showed that the fire also engulfed a building across the street. The street is lined with rubble.
The fire brigade was at the scene of the accident with 230 emergency services, and a crisis team had been set up in Paris City Hall. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo drove to the place, write French media. First, pictures and videos on the internet showed a huge plume of smoke rising over the fifth arrondissement.
The Paris American Academy fashion design school was housed in the damaged building. Downtown Paris was packed on Wednesday night as June 21 is traditionally a city-wide music festival with numerous concerts.