Fire kills 14 at German workshop for handicapped

November 26, 2012 4:02 pm


Helicopters evacuate injured people from the scene/AFP
BERLIN, Nov 26 – Fourteen people perished on Monday after a fire broke out at a workshop for handicapped people in Germany, police said.

Authorities said several people were also injured in the fire, which occurred in the small town of Titisee-Neustadt in the Black Forest area of southwestern Germany.

Karl-Heinz Schmid, a spokesman for police in the nearby city of Freiburg, told rolling news channel N24: “We can tell you that we have 14 dead. The process of identification is ongoing.”

“We also have a large number of injured who have been taken to hospital,” said Schmid, adding it was too early to determine how serious the injuries were.

Previous news reports had put the number of injured at seven.

“We are not in a position to say what the cause of the accident was,” Schmid said, although local news agency DPA quoted a source as saying there had been an explosion in a storage room.

It was still unclear whether chemicals were stored in the room, but the workshop activities include the treatment of wood.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus removed several people from the building, according to Focus magazine.

The fire broke out around 2pm (1300 GMT), according to media reports and had still not been extinguished nearly two hours later.

The workshop employed some 120 people with disabilities, media said.


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