A huge blast has rocked central Paris, setting buildings and cars alight and reportedly injuring a number of people.
The explosion happened on the Rue de Trevise in the 9th arrondissement commercial district on Saturday morning at around 9am local time (8pm AEDT).
Photographs circulating on social media show several historic buildings alight, their windows blown out, and debris spread across the streets.
Police cars and dozens of fire-fighting trucks are parked along the streets, and abandoned bicycles, rubbish bins and building materials have been spread across central streets.
The cause of the blast is not known although there are unconfirmed reports it may have been caused by a gas leak at a bakery.
Police are yet to confirm the suspected cause of the blast or any casualties but pictures show firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze and evacuate some people from the building using ladders.
Emergency workers also treated some of the injured at the scene.
Witnesses described on French television the overwhelmingly sound of the blast and people trapped inside nearby buildings. A Paris police spokeswoman said several injuries have been reported to police but no deaths. The spokeswoman, who wasn’t authorised to be publicly named, provided no further details.
Silver-helmeted firefighters and red firetrucks filled the street and inspected adjoining courtyards. Debris from a burned car and broken glass littered the pavement. A vehicle from gas company GRDF was stationed nearby.
The building is around the corner from the Folies-Bergere theater and not far from the shopping district that includes the famed headquarters of Galeries Lafayette.
The bakery is on the corner of the streets Saint-Cecile and Rue de Trevise in central Paris.
— Trent Murray (@trent_murray) January 12, 2019
The explosion came amid heavy security in Paris and around France for more yellow vest protests expected later on Saturday.
More to come.