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18 hurt in accidental blast at French carnival

© AFP | A video grab made from a handout video obtained by AFPTV on April 1, 2017 shows an explosion during a carnival, injuring at least 18 people, in Villepinte, north of Paris

BOBIGNY (FRANCE) (AFP) - 

Eighteen people were hurt, five of them seriously, when a bonfire effigy blew up at a carnival north of Paris on Saturday, emergency workers said.

The blast happened when organisers set fire to a wooden figure during a carnival at Villepinte after a traditional parade by local children.

None of the 18 suffered life-threatening injuries. Three were children.

Police said the effigy of a man, made out of plywood, was ignited by petrol using remote control.

The blast showered parts of the crowd with sparks and wooden splinters, which led to the injuries, and caused a momentary panic.

An inquiry has been opened.

© 2017 AFP