Crime & Justice

France opens manslaughter probe into fire that killed 11 at vacation home

Paris, Aug 11 (EFE).- The Prosecutor’s Office in Paris on Friday opened a manslaughter investigation into the deadly fire that killed 11 at a vacation home housing adults with disabilities in eastern France.

The vacation home in Wintzenheim, near Colmar in eastern France, did not have the required legal permits or was compliant with safety standards, the prosecutor office said in a statement.

The statement said the case has been taken over by the Paris prosecutors, who were investigating it for “homicides and involuntary injuries.”

The transfer of the case, previously under the jurisdiction of the Prosecutor’s Office in the city of Colmar due to its proximity to the incident site, was made considering the number of victims from all over France and the wide extent of the investigations required.

The probe announced Friday seeks to determine the precise causes of the fire, and possible criminal responsibilities, according to the statement.

The initial investigations of the case have led to questions about the material and legal security conditions of the building housing the holidaymakers, it added.

The fire began around 06:30 local time (04:30 GMT) on Wednesday and rapidly engulfed the building.

The holiday home was a recently renovated former barn that, according to initial inquiries, had not been legally cleared for operation and had never undergone the relevant safety checks, according to the Colmar Prosecutor’s Office.

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

The 11 victims were part of a 28-member group with learning disabilities, and their supervisors from the city of Nancy, who were staying at the hostel for vacation.

A total of 17 people staying on the ground floor were able to escape, one of them with very serious injuries. EFE


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