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Page last updated at 18:31 GMT, Saturday, 26 April 2008 19:31 UK

Many die in Morocco factory fire

Fire-fighters try to put out the blaze in a mattress factory in Casablanca on 26 April 2008
The blaze was so strong it took fire-fighters hours to get inside

A fire has killed at least 55 people in the Moroccan city of Casablanca, state news agency MAP reports.

Twelve others were seriously injured in the fire, which broke out on the ground floor of a mattress factory in the Hay Hassani district of the city.

More than 100 fire-fighters were sent to tackle the blaze, which spread rapidly because of the chemical products stored in the factory.

The cause of the fire is unclear. An inquiry has been launched.

The fire was so intense that it took fire-fighters many hours to get inside, the BBC's James Copnall reports from Rabat.

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Firefighters struggle to deal with the blaze

According to a local radio report, it was impossible to open the doors, and holes had to be knocked through an adjoining building.

About 100 of the factory's 150 staff were believed to have been on site at the time.



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