Explosion in Lyon, France, leaves several people injured

Emergency workers stretcher a woman to a waiting ambulance in Lyon on Friday. Full credit: Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images

An explosion in the city of Lyon on Friday evening has injured at least seven people.

The small blast occurred around 5:30 p.m. (11:30 a.m. ET) in a central shopping area, near the intersection of Victor Hugo road and Sala road. Its cause has not been fully determined yet.

French President Macron characterized the explosion as an attack, telling an interviewer on Friday evening, “I’m late because there was an attack in Lyon.”

Authorities in Paris have opened a terror probe into the blast, a spokeswoman for the city prosecutor told CNN. They believe the explosion could have been caused by a parcel bomb packed with nails, she told CNN earlier.

On Twitter, the Auvergne Rhone Alpes regional police said the chief of police and prosecutor were on the scene. It also tweeted photographs of the evacuated scene, and said that a security perimeter has been put in place, asking the public to avoid the area.

Hanane Benakkouche, a waitress at the nearby restaurant “L’espace Brasserie” told CNN of the moment the blast went off.

“We heard an explosion. I was working on the terrace and people started running, leaving Victor Hugo street,” she recalled. “Policemen arrived quickly on the scene. I’m still shocked.”

Emergency responders are assisting the wounded, a spokesperson for the Police Nationale told CNN, adding that that the priority would be assisting victims, “regardless of if it was a car crash or a terrorist attack.”

“The reasons for the explosions will be searched for later,” they said.

Later in the day, Macron tweeted, “Tonight I think of the wounded in the explosion in Lyon, their families affected by the violence that has befallen their loved ones in the street, and all of Lyon. We are by your side.”

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