A police source said the explosion tore apart a bakery on the rue Trevise in the Grands Boulevards district.
A bakery on the Rue de Trévise, a street in central Paris, caught fire after the blast. Witnesses described on French television the overwhelmingly sound of the blast and people trapped inside nearby buildings.
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Those deemed non-essential have been placed on unpaid leave, while others have been forced to continue working without pay. They Just want to work and get paid and they say this could affect us. "My mom is actually having to pay the whole rent".
One man staying across the road from the bakery said the blast blew out his windows, with debris spread across streets. Debris from a burned auto and broken glass littered the pavement. As per initial reports, the intensity of the blast has damaged several buildings and many casualties and injuries are being feared.
Firefighters pulled injured victims out of windows and evacuated residents.
Authorities were on high alert in the French capital for a ninth consecutive Saturday of "yellow vest" protests, with large parts of the city centre blocked off by riot police.