A fire that swept through a suburban Paris school on Tuesday night (February 6) claimed 18 lives--many of them children in the building for an after-hours music class.
GV PAN Burned school with smoke still coming from wreckage
GV Framework of building
GV Burned building smouldering
GV Firemen on roof, bringing ladder up (2 shots)
SV Firemen climbs into building
SV & GV INTERIOR Classroom
GV Building with firemen and trucks outside
Initials BB/2155 DS/TB/BB/2034
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Background: A fire that swept through a suburban Paris school on Tuesday night (February 6) claimed 18 lives--many of them children in the building for an after-hours music class.
At least five people were reported missing in the ruined building which burned in less than an hour. About 40 other children and adults escaped by breaking windows and climbing down ladders brought by neighbours.
Angry parents, backed by major parents' associations, are demanding an inquiry into the blaze. Local newspapers reported there had been warnings previously over defective and dangerous heating and electricity systems in the school.
One large nationwide parents group, the Armand Federation, called for an urgent national check on safety precautions in schools.
The Cornec Federation, France's largest parents' association, asked in a statement issued on Wednesday (February 7) how a building less than three years old had burned so quickly.
After visiting the gutted school, the head of the Paris Fire Department, General Charles Ferange said: "Paris is often said to be living on a tinderbox. One must admit this is true."
SYNOPSIS: At least eighteen people, mainly young children, died on Tuesday night when fire swept through this suburban Paris school. The building was destroyed in less than an hour.
About 60 adults and children were in the building. Most were there for after-hours music classes, normally held in a nearby hall which was unavailable the night of the fire.
While firemen raked the still smouldering debris, parents were demanding an inquiry into the fire in the three-year-old building.
Local newspapers claimed the building was criticised in the past for defective electrical and heating systems.