Powerful blast destroys American Academy in Paris

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On Wednesday, a huge explosion blasted out the facades of buildings in Paris, causing many casualties. According to local officials, the explosion was caused by a gas leak.

The street-facing side of the Paris American Academy, a famous fashion design school, is collapsed and on fire in video footage. Firefighters suspect the explosion started inside the academy building.

The explosive swept across a street in Paris’ upmarket 5th Arrondissement, scattering rubble. A column of black smoke could be seen from several kilometres away as flames poured from damaged windows. Two buildings adjacent to the academy were “weakened,” according to firefighters.

Local councillor Edouard Civel claimed on Twitter that a “gas explosion” had occurred and that the public should avoid the area as firemen worked to extinguish the following fire.

According to France’s BFMTV network, at least four individuals were gravely injured and 20 others had minor injuries. According to the network, these data are based on “a preliminary assessment” of the situation.