Tragedy in France: a building burns down near Lyon, five boys die and “the hypotheses are many”

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ten people diedincluding five boys, and 19 were injured in a fierce fire of a property on Friday morning in the town of Vaulx-en-Velin, near Lyon in eastern France, authorities said.

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“I heard cries of ‘Help! Help! Help! Help us!'” said Assed Belal, a neighborhood youth who was present during the fire.

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said on Friday it was too early to determine the cause of the fire that broke out this morning near Lyon, but admitted that the building there was a “known” drug and squat problem.

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“I think it’s still too early, there are many hypotheses there are many testimonials. I trust the firefighters and the judicial police,” Darmanin told the media from the scene of the tragedy.

Drugs and “squatters”

Despite this call for caution, the minister admitted that the problem of drug trafficking and the presence of ‘squatters’ in the affected street and in the burned building in particular was “known” to the authorities, They had investigations open.

“Drug it is encysted in some parts of the Republic,” complained Darmanin.

But the minister left it in the hands of the judicial police, the fire brigade and the Lyon prosecutor’s office, in charge of investigating this tragedy, to determine the causes of the accident and stressed that the immediate priority is identify all victimsso families can know what happened to their loved ones.

Darmanin also thanked the work of the firefighters, who arrived in 12 minutes and, running “considerable risks” for their lives, saved fifteen people, including children.

The fire also caused fourteen injuries, four in critical condition.

The fire has left a hundred people homeless or without access, for which they must be relocated, according to the Minister of Housing, Olivier Klein.

As for the state of the property, Klein indicated it had been the subject of “urgent” works in 2019 and that it is a neighborhood that has been undergoing renovation for several years.

The facts

The fire destroyed a seven-story apartment building in Mas le Taureau, a working-class district of Vaulx en Velin, a town of around 50,000 on the outskirts of Lyon.

The fire alert, which according to various witnesses was declared on the lower floors, went off at around 3 am this Friday and 170 firefighters arrived on the spot, two of whom were slightly injured in the extinguishment fire and helping neighbors.

According to witnesses, some of the occupants were trapped by the flames they jumped into the void.

“There were people on the ground, others stuck on balconies and the firefighters had difficulty intervening because of the trees,” they said.

The fire started from the ground floor and spread to the upper levels, then to the inhabitants got trapped in their homes as smoke engulfed common areas, according to firefighters.

“It was terrible,” Mohamed, a cousin of a fourth-floor inhabitant who managed to escape down the stairs with his two children, told AFP.



Source: Clarin

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