Paris bakery blast: Spanish tourist killed during romantic weekend on first trip abroad

Laura Sanz had always dreamed of visiting Paris.

Paris bakery blast: Spanish tourist killed during romantic weekend on first trip abroad
The blast was caused by a gas leak on a gas leak in a bakery on Rue de Trévis. Photo: AFP

Last Friday her husband Luis, whom she had met when she was just 16, had surprised her with the news that he was whisking her off for a romantic weekend away.

He had organised for their three children, aged ten, five and three, to stay behind with their maternal grandmother.

Laura, a 36 year-old cashier at a local supermarket in the small town of Burguillos, Toledo had no idea of the destination until the couple reached the airport. It was to be her first trip outside Spain.

Waking in the City of Lights on Saturday morning she was excited to get out and see the sites.

As she was getting dressed by the window of her hotel room at the Mercure Paris Opera Lafayette, in the bustling 9th arrondissement of the city, shortly before 9am, she turned to her husband and urged him to hurry out of bed so they could go down for breakfast.

At that moment a powerful gas explosion ripped apart the bakery across the road. The blast blew out windows up and down the street an overturned cars.

“Laura was getting dressed by the window, with the drapes pulled shut. Luis Miguel was in bed when it happened, but my daughter was hit full on by the blast,” her father, José Luis Sanz Gutiérrez told El Pais.

“The window frame was ripped off and hit her head. Her poor husband keeps saying that if it had happened either two minutes sooner or two minutes later, Laura would still be alive,” he said.

The father said Laura and her husband had been together since she was 16.

The blast killed three others, a woman living above the bakery and two firefighters who had been called to Rue de Trévise to investigate a gas leak.

Around 50 people were injured in the explosion and around 150 were evacuated from the area and housed in temporary accommodation because of damage to nearby buildings.

In IMAGES: Paris street left devastated by deadly explosion at bakery

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French baker given a legal warning after refusing to take a day off

A young baker in a wealthy suburb of Paris has been given a legal warning after he refused to close his boulangerie for one day a week, as is required by French law.

French baker given a legal warning after refusing to take a day off
Bakeries must by law close for one day a week. Photo: Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP

Romaric Demée, the young business owner, admitted he was knowingly breaking the law by keeping his shop in the suburb of Nanterre open seven days a week.

He has been given a month to inform the court of his chosen closing day. If he misses this deadline, he will be given a €1,000 fine per day, as well as for each day the closure is not respected.

“It’s unfair competition,” Tarek Rouin, the owner of a neighbouring boulangerie, told French newspaper Le Parisien.

The neighbourhood’s boulangeries had regular meetings, he said, to agree which days each of them should close. “I take Friday off, another colleague closes on Monday . . . But Romaric has never wanted to get involved.”

Demée told Le Parisien: “Corner shops and petrol stations are allowed to open every day of the week. We must be the only profession which is forced to lose a whole day’s earnings per week.”

READ ALSO: Should French shops stay closed on a Sunday?

The issue of whether shops should stay closed on Sundays has proven quite controversial in France.

In recent years things have been changing, especially in big cities, where you will always find something open on a Sunday.

READ ALSO: Paris department stores finally open on Sundays

In 2017, François Hollande chipped away at France’s laws with the creation of special international tourism zones where shops could operate on Sundays.

Baguette consumption shot up during France’s first lockdown in the spring, leading the labour ministry to approve a special waiver allowing bakeries to remain open seven days a week to keep up with demand.