VIDEO: Gas explosion hit American Academy, in 5th arrondissement, Paris, injuring at least 6 people KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Wednesday, June 21, 2023

VIDEO: Gas explosion hit American Academy, in 5th arrondissement, Paris, injuring at least 6 people

Gas explosion American Academy, in 5th arrondissement, Paris, injuring at least 6 people.

-A blast ripped through a street in the busy Latin Quarter of central Paris on Wednesday, causing the facade of one building to collapse, blowing out windows and starting a huge blaze.

At least 16 people were injured, including seven who are in a critical condition, police said.

The local deputy mayor, Edouard Civel, referred to a gas explosion in a Twitter post and witnesses told BFM TV there had been a strong smell of gas moments before the blast.

"I heard a huge explosion," said local bar employee Khal Ilsey. "And as I was leaving the restaurant, I saw flames at the end of Rue Saint-Jacques."

Alexandra, a local pharmacist, said: “We heard an incredible, very loud explosion at around 5pm, we felt the force of it. We thought this isn’t a storm, this is serious. We heard the fire services. I went out to see if I could help. But it’s all shut off. There are large numbers of fire services and emergency services. It’s atrocious.”

More than 200 firefighters were involved in the emergency response. TV images showed firefighters manning hoses and aiming jets of water at the blaze while a plume of thick black smoke billowed into the sky.

The blast occurred in the Rue Saint-Jacques in the 5th arrondissement of central Paris. The road leads from the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral to the Sorbonne University and the Val de Grace military hospital and is a few blocks from the popular Jardin du Luxembourg.

The area is usually packed with tourists and foreign students in the early summer. Laurent Nunez, the Paris police chief, confirmed that the explosion happened at 277 rue Saint Jacques inside a building that includes the Paris American Academy, a bilingual school of fashion and design.

Police told people to avoid the Val-de-GrĂ¢ce area, near the Pantheon and Luxembourg Gardens, after the facade of a building collapsed and the fire appeared to have spread to neighbouring buildings.

Just after 5pm local time, local people described one powerful explosion and a smaller one. One man told France Info public radio: “It was shocking. It’s a disaster.”

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