An explosion and a fire kill three people in Paris: what happened?

An explosion and a fire kill three people in Paris

Three people died after the explosion and fire which occurred in a building in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, on the evening of Sunday April 7. An investigation has been opened to determine the cause of the tragedy.

An explosion in a building followed by a fire. The tragedy occurred in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, at 146 rue de Charonne, on the night of Sunday April 7, on the seventh floor of a building dating from the 1970s which has eight floors. The fire started around 8 p.m., shortly after the sound of an explosion according to testimonies from several local residents to the media.

Although all the residents of the building were evacuated, as well as the occupants of neighboring buildings, the tragedy left three people dead. Two people were unable to escape the flames and were found in an apartment. The third victim, believed to be the occupant of the home where the fire started, died while trying to escape through the window. After trying to reach a neighboring apartment via the facade, the man escaped from the window. According to Sophia Chirikou, the rebellious MP for the 6th district of Paris who went to the site, the fire caused a fourth victim who is in a “vital emergency”.

The gas causing the explosion and fire?

The origin of the tragedy is still unknown. Luc Lebon, the deputy mayor of the 11th arrondissement of Paris, partly ruled out the gas trail on the evening of April 7, as noted franceinfo : “It’s not town gas because the building doesn’t have any. It may be a town gas cylinder as some police officers suspect. This is not at all supported by this stadium.” The explosion could be due to “a gas cylinder”, for her part indicated Sophia Chirikou according to BFMTV. The fire was brought under control and extinguished in the evening thanks to the mobilization of 66 firefighters and 17 engines.

To understand how the explosion could have taken place, a criminal investigation was opened for “destruction by fire or dangerous means” and “involuntary homicide” and entrusted to investigators from the 2nd judicial police district of the capital.

The occupants of neighboring buildings were able to return to their homes from 11:30 p.m. on Sunday evening. As for the residents of the building affected by the explosion, they “should be able to return to their apartments” indicated Nour Durand-Raucher, Paris councilor responsible for security in the 11th arrondissement. Parisian around 10 p.m. “We will organize, if necessary, shelter for the occupants of the 7th floor,” he added. Yesterday evening, the victims were welcomed at the Le Nouveau Carillon bar, located at the top of rue de Charonne. The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidaldo, addressed “to the families and loved ones of the victims all [s]my condolences and [a tenu] to assure them of the full support of the municipality which stands by their side” in a message sent to AFP.