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At least 10 dead including five children in apartment fire near Lyon

The fire began in a seven-storey building at around 03:00. The child victims were aged between three and 15

An apartment building fire in a suburb of Lyon has killed at least 10 people, including five children. Photo for illustration only Pic: photofort 77 / Shutterstock

A fire which began in an apartment building in a suburb to the east of Lyon has killed at least 10 people, including five children. 

Some 14 people have also been injured including four in a critical condition, the prefecture has said. Two firefighters were among those suffering mild injuries. 

The children killed in the blaze were aged between three and 15, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has reported, adding that the incident was a “shock”.

The fire began around 03:00 this morning (December 16) and an alert was sent out at 03:12, the prefecture has said. The seven-storey building is located in an area called Mas du Taureau in Vaulx-en-Velin, a commune of around 50,000 people. 

Although the fire has now been put out, there were still around 170 firefighters deployed this morning, and the area has been cordoned off.

The cause of the fire is as yet unknown, and an investigation has now been opened, with “several theories” to be considered, according to Mr Darmanin.

It is thought that the flames began on the ground floor and then spread upwards, the BBC reports

Cities and Housing Minister Olivier Klein has described the news as a “provisional death toll [which] sends a shiver down one’s spine”.

A ‘nombreuses victimes’ (numerous victims) plan has been put in place, with hospitals placed on high alert, emergency response teams mobilised and the prefecture triggering a crisis team. 

A local resident told Le Progres de Lyon newspaper: "I was awakened by the screams... We wanted to help people but the smoke was too heavy. I saw a dead woman... It's dramatic."

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