7 killed in clothing factory in Italy

Dec. 1, 2013 at 11:02 PM

PRATO, Italy, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- A fire in a clothing factory in Prato, Italy, Sunday killed at least seven people and injured two others, medical officials said.

The blaze in the factory owned by Chinese interests broke out about 6:30 a.m., Agenzia Giornalistica Italia reported. At least four of the deceased victims were male, the Italian news agency said. The gender of the others could not be determined because of the condition of the bodies.

The two who were injured were hospitalized in stable condition.

Fire department spokesman Stephen Giannelli said the fire was under control and rescue crews were "working to remove the rubble to ensure that there are no other people," AGI said. He said it was "impossible to say whether there are any other people."

The Italian news agency ANSA reported part of the building used as a dormitory had collapsed as a result of the fire.

"I was going through my car when I saw a column of smoke coming from the shed," said Leonardo Tuci, a member of the national police. "I approached and saw that there were some Chinese who came to meet me crying and screaming. I ran to the shed and saw a Chinese man with a fire extinguisher in his hand trying to extinguish the fire. So I took a fire extinguisher to help ... . [I] was exhausted, even in the cold , and I still hear the screams of the Chinese."

The cause of the fire was being investigated.

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