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A massive explosion rocked a neighbourhood in Paris, injuring 29 people.

The blast took place in the city’s fifth arrondissement, the Latin Quarter.

Emergency workers are searching through what’s left of the building as two people have been reported missing so far. The building used to house a design school and the Catholic education system headquarters in Rue Saint-Jacques.

Authorities believe the explosion is linked to a strong smell of gas reported before the blast. Camera footage suggest the explosion took place inside the building.

The area is famous among students and tourists. The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, arrived at the scene to do an inspection. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has warned people to avoid the area.

Le Parisien spoke to a student at Ecole des Mines on Boulevard Saint-Michel: “I was in front of the Val de Grace,  I heard a huge boom and I saw a ball of fire 20 or 30 metres high. And the building collapsed with a huge noise. I smelled gas, but took several minutes to come to my senses.”

Image credit: Bloomberg

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