Two firemen and Spanish national killed in Paris 'gas explosion'

Two firemen and a Spanish woman have died and dozens are injured after a large explosion and fire at a bakery in central Paris believed to be caused by a gas leak, according to the French Interior Minister.

The explosion went off at around 9 am local at a bakery on the Rue de Trevise, in the 9th arrondissement, north-central Paris.

The French Minister had said earlier that two civilians were also killed in the blast.

However, Christophe Castaner later said in a tweet that at this point it is known that two firemen were killed, 10 are in a critical condition, including a fireman, and 37 people are lightly injured.

The Spanish Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed that a Spanish woman was killed on Saturday afternoon. 

Paris prosecutor Remi Heitz told reporters the blast was likely caused by a gas leak

"We still need to determine the circumstances and cause of the explosion but at this stage we can say it is clearly an accident, presumably a gas leak," he said.

Earlier, fire officials said at least 36 people had been injured, with 12 in a critical condition.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters earlier "the situation is now under control" and that more than 200 firemen were involved in the rescue operation.

Several building in the surrounding area were damaged by the blast and windows of nearby shops were smashed, with broken glass now covering the streets.

The explosion came amid heightened security in the city for yellow vest demonstrations expected later on Saturday, with large parts of the city centre blocked off by riot police.