Injured in German blaze rises to 9, experts search cause

27th November 2012, Comments 0 comments

Experts hunted for the cause of a fierce blaze at a Christmas decorations workshop for the disabled in Germany's Black Forest which killed 14 as the number of injured rose to nine Tuesday.

Most of those who died in the fire which broke out on Monday afternoon at the centre in Titisee-Neustadt, about 35 kilometres (22 miles) from the southwestern city of Freiburg, were disabled, police said.

A 50-year-old female carer was also killed, they said.

"Fire experts from the criminal police and accident investigators were on site during the night gathering evidence," a police spokesman told AFP.

Hundreds of firefighters backed by helicopters had battled the fire at the workshop which made Christmas decorations among other things, run by the Roman Catholic Caritas welfare association for the mentally and physically disabled.

Up to 60 people were in the centre at the time of the fire.

The blaze broke out just before 2:00pm (1300 GMT) and spread quickly, ravaging a part of the site.

The number of injured has increased from eight to nine, according to the latest police figures Tuesday.

They were taken to different hospitals in the region of Baden-Wuerttemberg and their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening, the police spokesman said.

Among the dead were 13 disabled people, of whom 10 were women. They were all aged between 28 and 68, according to a police statement.

The cause of the fire was still unclear Tuesday. "The investigations are not yet finished" but are continuing "relentlessly", police said.

A press conference was scheduled for later Tuesday.

© 2012 AFP

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