PARIS (AP) – A strong explosion hit a building in Paris’ Left Bank on Wednesday, leaving 24 injured and igniting a fire that sent smoke soaring over city monuments and prompted the evacuation of surrounding buildings, police said. The cause of the blast was not immediately known.
The facade of a building in the 5th arrondissement, or district, collapsed, and emergency services were working to determine if anyone was still inside, a Paris police official said. The explosion happened near the historic Val de Grace military hospital.
Paris police chief Laurent Nunez said the building where the explosion occurred was a private school, the Paris American Academy, which was founded in 1965 and offers teaching in fashion design, interior design, fine arts and creative writing.
The fire was contained but not yet extinguished. Some 270 firefighters were involved in putting out the…