Why is France’s fire safety record such a disgrace?

When Prince William last travelled to Courchevel 1850 with family and friends, he is said to have used a private jet belonging to the billionaire Duke of Westminster.

It was a fitting mode of transport for a super-rich group enjoying one of Europe’s most exclusive ski resorts. They dined at Michelin-rated restaurants, shopped at designer boutiques and slept in five-star accommodation in a place where hotels – including three with “Palace” ratings – cost more than anywhere in France outside Paris.

What a contrast to the squalid, cramped rooms from which low-paid seasonal workers were seen jumping as they tried to escape a fire in a Courchevel 1850 housing block on January 20. A blaze started on an upper floor, killing two and injuring more than 20.

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