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Explosion at carnival in France injures 18

03 April 2017

At least 18 people have been injured, five critically, after an explosion rocked a carnival in Villepinte, in the northern suburbs of Paris. The incident happened when a bonfire around a human effigy exploded, showering revellers with burning wood. Children injured in the blast ranged in age from two to 14, said Nathalie Crespin, spokeswoman for the Paris fire brigade.

Stock image
Stock image

“Many are injured in the face, and all are in hospital in Villepinte,” Ms Crespin said. She said the total number of those badly hurt was 18, with five “in a very bad way”.

Petrol used to light the fire was apparently mishandled, prompting the explosion, she said.

There were hundreds of children and families inside the Guy Mousset Stadium, where the carnival was being held to celebrate the start of Spring. Among those hurt was Martine Valleton, the Mayor of Villepinte, who was hit in the right leg.

The Bobigny public prosecutor's office has opened an investigation for "unintentional injuries and endangerment" and an investigation will be carried out by police and health and safety bodies.

Local media said one possible cause of the explosion was the formation of a vapour pocket in the structure, which had previously been sprayed with fuel.

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