PARIS — An large explosion tore through a shop in central Paris on Saturday morning, leaving smoke and flames and scattered debris, the authorities said.
There were reports of multiple injuries after the blast, but the cause was not immediately clear.
The Paris police prefecture said on Twitter that a shop on Rue de Trévise had been hit by a “strong explosion” and that firefighters were responding to a fire, but it did not provide more details.
The explosion appeared to have occurred in or near a bakery at the corner Rue Sainte-Cécile, in the 9th arrondissement of Paris.
Pictures on social media from witnesses at the scene showed a blackened store front with the windows blown out, debris strewn around the street, and fires still burning.
One person wrote on Twitter: “Woke up to the apartment building shaking as if I had never left California … not an earthquake, but an explosion on Rue de Trévise not even a mile from me.”
Another person wrote of hearing the sound of screaming. Photos showed firefighters helping people down a ladder after the blast.
Paris and other cities around France were bracing on Saturday for Round 9 of protests by the “Yellow Vests” movement. The demonstrations have repeatedly turned violent, but there was no immediate sign that the explosion was in any way related to the protests.
The Yellow Vests are protesting against the social and economic policies of President Emmanuel Macron, who they perceive as out-of-touch with their everyday needs, but the demonstrations have morphed into wider discontent with the political and media elites.