Latest: 36 people, including 12 in a critical condition, have been injured in an explosion at a bakery in Paris that was apparently caused by a gas leak, officials say.
Paris fire department spokesman Eric Moulin told reporters at the scene that five people were in a life-threatening condition, including two firefighters.
Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said "at this stage we can say it seems from accidental origin, this would be a gas leak".
He said that Paris firefighters were already at the scene for a suspected gas leak on Saturday morning when the explosion happened.
Investigations are ongoing to determine the exact cause of the blast.
Witnesses described the overwhelming sound of the blast.
Charred debris and broken glass covered the pavement around the apartment building housing the bakery, which resembled a blackened carcass.
A powerful explosion and fire apparently caused by a gas leak at a Paris bakery has injured several people, blasted out windows and overturned cars, police said.
Firefighters pulled injured victims out of windows and evacuated residents as smoke billowed out of the building on Rue de Trevise in the 9th arrondissement of north-central Paris.
Witnesses described on French television the overwhelming sound of the blast and people trapped inside nearby buildings.
A Paris police spokeswoman said several injuries have been reported to police, but no deaths.
Distressing images coming out of central #Paris - huge explosion at a bakery cafe on a Saturday morning. Early reports it may have been caused by gas leak. More info to come. pic.twitter.com/D68oh8I4bB— Trent Murray (@trent_murray) January 12, 2019
Silver-helmeted firefighters and red fire engines filled the street and inspected adjoining courtyards.
Debris from a burned car and broken glass littered the pavement. A vehicle from gas company GRDF was stationed nearby.
The building is around the corner from the Folies-Bergere theatre and not far from the shopping district that includes the famed headquarters of Galeries Lafayette.
The explosion came amid heavy security in Paris and around France for yellow vest protests expected later today.
PA & Digital Desk