Lyon, France — A small explosion left at least seven people injured in the French city of Lyon, authorities said Friday. The victims suffered leg injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening, officials said, and the cause of the blast wasn’t immediately known.
Authorities couldn’t confirm reports that a small package exploded but French President Emmanuel Macron called the incident an “attack” during a live interview about the European Parliament elections that run through Sunday.
Denis Broliquier, mayor of Lyon’s second district, told BFMTV he arrived minutes after the 5:30 p.m. explosion at the bakery chain Brioche Doree. He said authorities had cordoned off the street but had not evacuated residents.
“What I saw was a refrigerated cooler in the Brioche Doree, whose windows had been shattered. It was the windows … that superficially injured the people who were 1, 2 or 3 meters (yards) away,” Broliquier said.
“But the fridge itself wasn’t that damaged, which means the device had low force,” Broliquier said, downplaying the incident. “It’s not the apocalypse. There’s no danger. There’s no risk.”
The central area, the Presqu’ile, lies between the Rhone and Saone rivers that run through France’s third-largest city.
Earlier, French officials said eight people were wounded, but later lowered the figure to seven.
Macron confirmed there were no fatalities and sent his thoughts “to the injured and their families.” The women’s World Cup soccer tournament is scheduled to start in Lyon on June 7.
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said he has sent instructions for Lyon authorities to strengthen “the security of public sites and sporting, cultural and religious events.”