Seven children among dead in 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, news agency DPA reported.

Three other people were injured in the fire in Backnang, a town near Stuttgart, and taken to hospitals

Authorities were alerted to the blaze at 4.30am.

Police said they believe that the fire broke out in a second-floor apartment, and said in a statement that their investigation is focusing on a heater in the apartment.

The building is part of a former leather factory that was converted into a row of three-story apartment blocks. Police said 13 people are registered as living in the two apartments worst affected by the fire, though it was not clear how many were there when the fire broke out.

A German-Turkish cultural association has an office on the building’s ground floor. Police said there was no indication that the fire might have been set deliberately or have been a racist attack.

Turkey’s ambassador to Germany planned to travel to the scene.


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