Fortunately, it appears no one was killed in what authorities are calling a “low force” blast but several people were injured. Police have now released a photo of the suspect believed to have left the package bomb in the street in the city of Lyon:
CNN reports the incident is now being investigated as a “terrorist conspiracy.”
An investigation into “terrorist conspiracy” has been opened, French Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet announced hours after the explosion.
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.”
There were reports that the bomb may have contained nails, screws, or bolts to create shrapnel but a district mayor suggested it was the broken glass from a bakery where the bomb went off that may have caused the injuries to people nearby:
Broliquier, the district mayor, told BFMTV he arrived minutes after the 5:30 p.m. explosion at the bakery chain Brioche Doree in Lyon’s central Presqu’ile area, which lies between the Rhone and Saone rivers that run through France’s third-largest city.
“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…
Resident Jean-Pierre, who lives above the bakery and didn’t give his last name, told BFMTV the noise from the explosion was “deafening” but it didn’t cause the walls to shake. He said a window shattered and there was some debris on the street.
Some victims sustained leg injuries and no wounds were life-threatening, Kamel Amerouche, the regional authority’s communications chief, told The Associated Press.
You can see the broken glass in front of the bakery in this clip:
— ABC News (@ABC) May 24, 2019
The manhunt is on to find the bomber. Until he is identified, we won’t know much about the motive for this. If anything happens tonight I’ll update this post.