Disasters & Accidents

9 dead, 2 missing after fire causes France vacation home to collapse

Paris, Aug 9 (EFE).- Firefighters have found nine bodies and were searching for two other people who are feared dead after a fire broke out on Wednesday at a holiday home in eastern France.

“We are looking for the remains of people who could not leave the building”, lieutenant colonel Philippe Hauwiller, head of the rescue operation, told local media in Wintzenheim, which is close to the German border.

Hauwiller explained that the fire completely burned down a large part of the building and that the second floor collapsed, making the rubble “unstable” and hampering the search for the last two bodies.

The deaths were caused by the building’s collapse, he said.

Twenty-eight members of a group of people with learning disabilities and their supervisors from the city of Nancy were staying at the hostel.

A total of 17 people were able to escape, one of them with very serious injuries.

French prime minister Élisabeth Borne and the Minister of Solidarity and Families, Aurore Bergé, went to the site of the disaster to follow the recovery of the bodies and to speak with the families of the victims, as well as to set up a center for psychological care for the families and survivors.

Interior minister Gérald Darmanin praised the “rapid and courageous intervention of the firefighters” on social media.

The shelter is part of the ITEP network, whose centers take in youth, adolescents and young adults with mental or intellectual development problems. EFE


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