Flames leap hundreds of feet into the night sky as fire sweeps through a big oil storage depot in Metz, eastern France, during the early hours of Thursday morning.
GV PAN Fire and flames (2 shots)
GV Firemen fighting blaze
GVs Fire (3 shots)
GV Firemen hosing down nearby house PAN TO flames in background (4 shots)
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Background: Flames leap hundreds of feet into the night sky as fire sweeps through a big oil storage depot in Metz, eastern France, during the early hours of Thursday morning. It was the second oil fire in the area in two days -- and there were claims that both fires were part of a new sabotage campaign.
Five hundred firemen, including reinforcements from across the nearby border with West Germany, spent more than twelve hours bringing the fire under control. By that time, ten storage tanks containing seven and a half million litres of fuel oil and petrol had gone up in smoke.
There were unconfirmed reports of three explosions before the fire started. And later, in an anonymous telephone call to a local newspaper a group calling itself the Workers' Direct Action Committee claimed responsibility for starting the blaze. This group hadn't been heard of before. But according to the anonymous caller, more attacks are being planned in an effort to split the government and to make capitalist companies which profit from the people lose a great deal of those profits.