Paris Fire Department Spokesman Says Blast At Bakery Injured 36 People, Including 12 In Critical Condition

Two firefighters died and nearly 50 people were injured in a massive gas explosion that gutted the ground floor of a building in a central Paris shopping district, authorities said.

The powerful blast may have been the result of a gas leak

Two firefighters died and nearly 50 people were injured in a massive gas explosion that gutted the ground floor of a building in a central Paris shopping district, authorities said.

The accident occurred with Paris under security lockdown for a ninth consecutive Saturday of "yellow vest" protests, with large parts of the French capital blocked off by riot police.

"As firemen were looking for a gas leak in the building, a dramatic explosion took place," Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said, adding that one of the firemen had been buried under debris for several hours.