An accidental gas explosion in a northern Paris shopping area on Saturday left two firefighters and a Spanish tourist dead, and 50 people injured, according to Reuters. The blast, which tore through the ground floor of a building, took place as the city remains on lockdown due to ongoing “yellow vest” demonstrations. “As firemen were looking for a gas leak in the building, a dramatic explosion took place,” said Interior Minister Christophe Castaner. He also said that one of these firemen had been buried under rubble for several hours. Spain's Foreign Minister, Josep Borrell, said on Twitter that a Spanish woman was also killed in the explosion. While France has been the target of fatal Islamist militant attacks over the past several years, including in Paris, Marseille and Nice, officials promptly ruled out terrorism. “A[t] this stage we can say it (the gas blast) is clearly an accident,” said Paris prosecutor Remi Heitz to reporters. Over the last nine Saturdays, “yellow vest” protesters have come out in opposition of a fuel tax. According to Reuters, “thousands” of these demonstrators marched peacefully just several hundred yards from the explosion.
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