Seven children among victims of apartment blaze
AN early-morning fire at an apartment building in southwestern Germany left eight people dead, seven of them children, police said.
Police said the victims were a woman and seven children aged between 6 months and 16, all of Turkish origin and from the same family.
Three other people were injured in the fire in Backnang, a town near Stuttgart, yesterday and taken to hospitals. Police said they believe the fire broke out in a second-floor apartment, and their investigation is focusing on a heater.
The building is part of a former leather factory that was converted into a row of three-storey apartment blocks. Police said 13 people are registered as living in the two apartments worst affected by the fire.
A German-Turkish cultural association has an office on the building's ground floor. Police said there was no indication the fire might have been set deliberately or have been a racist attack.
In Turkey, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said it was "a very sad incident".
"We want the incident to be investigated thoroughly," he said. "We hope the fire is not the result of an arson attack."