Seven dead in hostel fire in France: firefighters

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Seven people died and four were critically injured when a fire swept through a hostel for migrant workers overnight in Dijon, eastern France, firefighters said on Sunday.

Another 130 people were slightly injured, mostly suffering from smoke inhalation, Commander Jean-Louis Marc told AFP.

The fire started in a dustbin outside the nine-storey hostel around 1.30 am (0030 GMT).

By the time firefighters arrived, 10 minutes after being called, the fire was already well established and occupants of the building were unable to leave without help because of the smoke, he said.

"Some people jumped out of windows," he said, but was unable to say whether these were among the seven victims, whose identities were not immediately known.

Three of the 93 firefighters who battled the blaze were also treated for smoke inhalation.

© 2010 AFP

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