Two firefighters were killed in a powerful blast in Paris

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Two of the killed people were firefighters, from the Paris fire brigade. Firefighters were already at the scene to check on the gas leak at the bakery before the explosion occurred.The incident occurred over Rue de Trevise in the upmarket 9th arrondissment of north-central Paris. It’s not far from the shopping district that includes the famed headquarters of Galeries Lafayette. Debris and broken glass covered the pavement. The cars on the street were overturned.

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“Unfortunately the human toll is particularly serious,” France’s interior minister Christophe Castaner told the media. Around 200 firefighters and police were involved in the emergency operation. Hotel Mercure opposite the bakery was destroyed in the blast. Many people were evacuated. Police had advised the public to stay away from the area, and to make space for emergency vehicles. Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said that the cause appears to be an accidental gas leak. Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who was also at the scene, extended a “message of affection and solidarity” to the victims.

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