One person still missing after Paris blast: Police

One person is still believed missing in the rubble after a blast ripped through a street near Paris’ historic Latin Quarter, Le Parisien newspaper reported on Thursday, citing the Paris police department.

The Paris prosecutor’s office has said it is too early to establish the cause of Wednesday afternoon’s blast, which destroyed the facade of a building housing the Paris American Academy design school popular with foreign students.

At least 37 people were injured in the explosion, four of whom are fighting for their lives in hospital.

Le Parisien said police had denied earlier remarks by a local city official who said the search was over after all people had been identified.

Paris police and the Paris city council did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment.

The explosion caused scenes of chaos and destruction in the historic Rue Saint Jacques, which runs from the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral to the Sorbonne University.

Florence Berthout, mayor of the Paris district where the blast occurred, said the 12 students who should have been in the design school’s classrooms when the blast occurred had fortunately gone to visit an exhibition with their teacher.

“Otherwise, the (death toll) could have been absolutely horrific,” Berthout told BFM TV, adding that three children who had been passing by at the time were among the injured, although their lives were not in danger.

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