Monday, April 28, 2008

Second fire in Casablanca

Three people were killed in a blaze, in the early hours of Monday morning, in a Casablanca tapestry factory.

An investigation was opened by authorities to determine the causes of this blaze that occurred less than 36 hours after a Casablanca mattress factory located in a poor industrial neighbourhood in Casablanca, went up in flames on Saturday morning, killing 55 people. The owner of the factory and his son were arrested as part of the investigation.

Casablanca's Wali, Mohamed Kabbaj, attributed the heavy death toll to the large number of people working at the time -100 - as well as the presence of flammable products, while the head of Casablanca's civil protection unit, Mustapha Taouil, said that the doors of the four-storey factory building were locked.

The mattress factory blaze is the worst industrial incident in Morocco. Moroccan Interior Minister Chakib Benmoussa who visited the site, at the head of an official delegation sent by King Mohammed VI, pledged that an investigation into the cause of the blaze would also examine security measures and work conditions at the factory. He said chemicals in the building sent the blaze out of control and delayed the rescue effort by hours.

King Mohammed VI sent a condolence message to the families of the victims and vowed to take in charge the hospitals and burial expenses of the victims.


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