At least 13 people have died after a fire ravaged and destroyed a bar in Rouen, the capital of the French region of Normandy, local media report. Most of the victims were reportedly young people attending a birthday party.
The fire started after midnight at a bar where young people had been gathering to celebrate a private birthday party in the northern city of Rouen, the Paris-Normandie newspaper reports. Firefighters responded to the emergency, and have declared 13 people dead so far.
The fire was allegedly caused by an accidental explosion on site, the publication reports. Authorities expect the death toll to rise, the newspaper added.
Police and fire emergency units were called in at 12:50am local time when the blaze broke out in the basement of the Cuba Libre bar.
It took firefighters some 30 minutes to bring the flames under control. First responders managed to pull out six injured people, all aged 18 to 25. By 3:00am, the fire and rescue operation was complete.
Firefighters discovered thirteen bodies inside. The bodies of the victims were transported to the University Hospital of Rouen, where a psychological team gathered to helpfamilies deal with the crisis.
Eleven witnesses were taken to Rouen Police Hall to be interviewed to determine further details about the incident.
Source: Word News