One person still feared missing after explosion brings down Paris building

French soldier in cordoned-off area of Paris street
A French soldier secures the area near a Paris building that was brought down by a large explosion Wednesday.
(Christophe Ena / Associated Press)
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French rescue workers searched Thursday for a person feared missing after a powerful blast brought down a building on Paris’ Left Bank, injuring more than 30 people, four of them critically.

Investigators were working to determine the cause of Wednesday’s explosion. A possible gas leak was one of the potential causes under investigation.

The blast near the historic Val de Grace military hospital in Paris’ 5th arrondissement, or district, crumpled the facade of a building that held a private academy of design and arts.


Some of the four critically injured people suffered severe burns, French Health Minister François Braun said.

One of the most complex phases of the reconstruction of fire-ravaged Notre Dame de Paris is underway: the rebuilding of the cathedral’s famous spire.

May 30, 2023

One person who was feared missing has been found. Police said efforts were continuing to find another person still feared missing.

With more than 2 million people densely packed within the city limits and historic — sometimes aging — infrastructure, Paris is no stranger to gas explosions. A January 2019 blast in the 9th arrondissement killed four people and left dozens injured.