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Paris blast leaves one person missing and over 30 injured

Emergency services in Paris
Emergency services in Paris Copyright Christophe Ena/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Christophe Ena/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Philip Andrew Churm with AFP
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An explosion in the French capital, Paris, has left one person missing and over 30 people injured as emergency services try to establish the cause

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A day after an explosion destroyed a building in Paris, the search is continuing for a missing person.

The incident occurred shortly before 5 pm, Wednesday in a building housing a private fashion school, the Paris American Academy, near the church of Notre-Dame du Val-de-Grâce.

At least 30 people were injured, four of them critically, in the blast in the central 5th district.

Firefighters continued to hose down and sift through the still-smoking rubble, as investigators sought to establish the cause. 

A potential gas leak is one of the main lines of inquiry.

The powerful explosion caused panic and chaos in the heavily populated area and windows in a number of nearby houses and businesses were shattered in the blast.

Barricades were erected on rue Saint-Jacques, in front of the Maison des Mines student residence to keep onlookers away from the collapsed building.

There were no vehicles in the street and only a water hose was intermittently activated by the fire brigade to spray the ruins of the destroyed building. 

However, shops in the street were open and people were moving around.

The French capital has seen several similar tragedies in recent years. In January 2019 a gas explosion in the fourth district killed four people and left dozens injured.

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