At least 18 injured in bonfire blast at Paris carnival

David Chazan

At least 18 people were injured, five of them seriously, in an explosion at a crowded Paris carnival attended by about 1,000 children on Saturday.

A mother and her child were among the worst casualties. The  conditions of those hurt were not life-threatening, the authorities said.

The powerful blast was described as “accidental”, not terror-related.

It happened as an effigy made of wood and straw was set alight on a bonfire during a Caribbean dance event at the Yellow Carnival, a family festival in Villepinte, near the Charles de Gaulle airport.

“The person who lit it up was thrown several metres,” a witness told Le Parisien newspaper. 

The explosion sent debris flying into the crowd although spectators were kept behind a safety cordon.

Emergency services at the scene Credit: Twitter

The local mayor, Martine Valleton, fell to the ground, injuring her knee.

A local man described scenes of panic. “I saw a man with a broken arm, a child with a bloodied face, and people running in all directions trying to find their children. It took a while for people to realise that it was an accident,” he told Le Parisien newspaper.

“There were a lot of children there and many were in tears. Fortunately there was a safety cordon, otherwise there would have been more casualties.”

Many of those attending the carnival dressed in yellow, symbolising the spring sunshine.

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