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UPDATE 2 - 3 Turks among 5 dead in apartment fire in E.France

UPDATE 2 - 3 Turks among 5 dead in apartment fire in E.France
French authorities blame arson for deadly blaze in eastern France, near German border


PARIS (AA) - French authorities are blaming arson for a blaze late Sunday in a social housing block that claimed the lives of five people -- including four children, and three Turks.

"We think that the fire probably was the result of arson. All the evidence we have gives us that impression," Dominique Alzeari, prosecutor in the eastern city of Mulhouse, near the German border, where the fire took place, told reporters on Monday.

The prosecutor also said that a 28-year-old had been detained as a prime suspect within hours of the fire.

Eight people were also injured in the blaze, the local fire department said, with three in serious condition.

Ozgur Cinar, Turkey's consul in Strasbourg, 114 kilometers (71 miles) north of Mulhouse, told Anadolu Agency that three Turks were among the fire’s victims.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim spoke with the relatives of the victims on the phone and expressed his condolences.

According to Prime Ministry sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media, Yildirim said that they would follow the process closely to bring those who are responsible for the attack to justice.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also sent his condolences saying: "Unfortunately we lost three of our children in the fire in Mulhouse, France."

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag also condemned the suspected arson attack and called on the French government to swiftly bring the culprits to justice.

Firefighters managed to rescue another 12 occupants of the four-story building in the northern Bourtzwiller district via the apartment building windows, the department added.

There are conflicting reports in the local media, with some suggesting the blaze started in a stairwell, while others say it began in the basement.

source: News Feed
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