Four dead in Paris explosion- French Interior Minister

Four people have died after a large explosion at a bakery in central Paris believed to be caused by a gas leak, according to the French Interior Minister.

Fire brigade commander Eric Moulin told reporters earlier that five people have life-threatening injuries, which includes two firemen.

Twelve others had serious injuries and at least 24 more people had lighter injuries, Moulin said.

The explosion went off at around 9 am local at a bakery on the Rue de Trevise, in the 9th arrondissement, north-central Paris.

Paris prosecutor Remi Heitz told reporters the blast was likely caused by a gas leak

“We still need to determine the circumstances and cause of the explosion but at this stage we can say it is clearly an accident, presumably a gas leak,” he said.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters “the situation is now under control” and that more than 200 firemen were involved in the rescue operation.

Several building in the surrounding area were damaged by the blast and windows of nearby shops were smashed, with broken glass now covering the streets.

The explosion came amid heightened security in the city for yellow vest demonstrations expected later on Saturday, with large parts of the city centre blocked off by riot police.