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2 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Japan fire kills 11 at home for elderly people

AFP

Eleven people died after a fire broke out at a residence for elderly people with financial difficulties in northern Japan, police said yesterday, reports AFP from Tokyo. Television footage showed the three-storey building engulfed in flames and dozens of firefighters battling the blaze in snowy conditions.

Pictures of the aftermath showed the blackened husk of the building, whose roof had apparently collapsed due to the fire. The victims—eight men and three women—were among 16 residents of the facility in Sapporo, Hokkaido, run by a local organisation.

The other five residents escaped with minor injuries, a police spokesman told AFP, adding that authorities were investigating the victims’ identities.

Police said they had launched a probe into the cause of the fire first alerted at 11:42 pm (1442 GMT) Wednesday via an emergency call, the spokesman said. The facility is aimed at supporting elderly people with financial difficulties by offering low-cost accommodation and helping them find work, public broadcaster NHK reported. It is usually unstaffed overnight, according to local media. The accommodation was originally a Japanese inn built around 50 years ago that was later turned into the welfare facility.

“As there were many oil tanks (for kerosene stoves) there, I heard a number of small explosions,” a 67-year-old woman in the neighbourhood told Jiji Press. “Luckily, the only damage to our house was some cracks on the window,” she was quoted as saying.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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