At least two dead following explosion at bakery in central Paris

The explosion tore apart a shop, blasted out windows and over-turned cars

At least two dead following explosion at bakery in central Paris

Picture by: Kamil Zihnioglu/AP/Press Association Images

Updated 14:55

At least two people have died following an explosion in central Paris.

It happened at a bakery on Rue de Trévise in the northern area of the city centre at around 9am local time this morning.

Associated Press quotes a police spokesperson as saying the blast is suspected to have been caused by a gas leak.

French interior minister Christophe Castaner initially told reporters that four people had been killed in the powerful blast - two civilians and two firefighters.

However, he later clarified that it was the two firefighters who had died.

10 other people are seriously injured, while 37 others had received minor injuries.

The Spanish foreign affairs minister, however, has reported that three people had died - including a Spanish citizen.

Picture by: Chen Yichen/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Pictures from the scene appear to show that the ground floor of a building has been destroyed, while neighbouring buildings have also been damaged.

Police have urged people to avoid the area.

More than 200 firefighters have been responding to the incident.

Mr Castaner had visited the area earlier today, saying his thoughts are with the injured and their families.

One eyewitness told the Reuters news agency: “There was broken glass everywhere, storefronts were blown out and windows were shattered up to the third and fourth floors."

Dublin Fire Brigade said their thoughts were with the families of the two firefighters killed in the explosion:

The blast happened as thousands of emergency and security forces mobilised in the city ahead of a planned further weekend of 'yellow vest' protests.

Additional reporting by IRN