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5 children among carnival fire dead

(CNN) — At least nine people — five of them children — were killed after a fire gutted an apartment building in southwestern Germany while revelers were celebrating carnival, police said Monday.

A fire official in Ludwigshafen told CNN at least 60 more people were injured in the blaze. Twenty-four of them remained hospitalized Monday, he said. The rest of the wounded have been treated and released.

Unfortunately, we cannot exclude further victims, police spokeswoman Simone Eisenbarth told The Associated Press.

The carnival tradition stems from the Roman Catholic regions in the west and south of Germany. Like Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Carnival in Brazil, it is a time when residents dress up and take to the streets in celebration.

The fire broke out about 4:23 p.m. (1523 GMT) on Sunday in a four-story apartment building, city police said in a statement. Its cause was unclear.

Firefighters battled through the evening and into the night to bring the blaze under control. Two adjacent apartment buildings were evacuated as a safety precaution, the statement said.

Fearing that there may be other victims, rescue crews brought in a large crane that lowered fire fighters into the shell of the building to conduct an initial check for additional bodies.

Rescue crews have been unable to thoroughly search because the damage to the building was so severe that authorities think it may no longer be structurally sound.

Ludwigshafen is a port city on the west bank of the Rhine River. It is noted for its large chemical industry and is a gateway to the wine-growing region of the Rhine.
5 children among carnival fire dead – found here.


February 5, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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