Paris (AP) - In the heavy explosion in the middle of Paris, four people have died, including two firefighters, according to France's Interior Minister Christophe Castaner.

Ten people were heavy, another 37 were more easily injured, the minister said Saturday afternoon to the TV station BFMTV.

Originally, the fire department had been called on suspicion of escaping gas to the site of the later explosion, as the police spokeswoman said in the morning. Around 100 police officers and nearly 200 firefighters were in action, according to Interior Minister. The situation was under control, it said in the morning.

The explosion shook the 9th arrondissement in Paris shortly before announced demonstrations of the "yellow vests" in the capital. The authorities fear a renewed escalation of violence during the protests. Around 5000 security forces are deployed in Paris to secure the demonstrations. In recent weeks, the protests of the movement had repeatedly come to violence and riots. Especially Paris was affected.