At least 18 people, including three children, were injured when a bonfire effigy exploded at a town carnival outside Paris, officials said Saturday.
Organizers had poured gasoline on a wooden figure of a man, preparing for a bonfire that normally concludes the annual town carnival in Villepinte, north of the capital. Emergency workers said the effigy exploded when it was ignited by remote control, showering chunks of burning wood and splinters onto a crowd of several hundred people.
Five of those injured were in serious condition, authorities said, but no one's life was in danger. Most victims suffered burns.
Officials said there was no indication that the incident involved arson or terrorism, but the explosion and flames did cause momentary panic.