Paris gas explosion

French firefighters rescued residents after a gas blast rocked central Paris today (Saturday).

The rescues took place in damaged buildings near the site of a massive gas explosion in a central Paris shopping district.

Two firefighters and a Spanish woman died in the blast.  About 50 people were injured.

Authorities said the explosion tore apart a bakery on the ground floor of the building.  Witnesses said the force of the blast shattered nearby storefronts and rocked buildings hundreds of meters away.  More than 200 firefighters joined the rescue operation and two helicopters helped evacuate victims.

Ambulances struggled to access the blast area because of police barriers set up to contain any violence by yellow vest protesters.

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