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Monday, 13 November, 2000, 12:27 GMT
Second tragedy for Austrian town
Kaprun resident with candles
Wels was home to 32 of the Kaprun victims
The fire tragedy at the Alpine resort of Kaprun was felt particularly bitterly in the Austrian town of Wels, which lost 32 of its residents.

The sense of loss is compounded by memories of a fire in a Turkish hotel 17 years ago, where 11 tourists from Wels were killed.

Every one of us knows at least one person who was affected

Wels resident
Wels, an industrial town of 50,000 people in the province of Upper Austria, had arranged an outing to Kaprun for municipal employees and their friends and family.

Only two of the party survived the fire which swept through the cable-hauled train in a tunnel on the way to a ski station.


"This is horrible. Every one of us knows at least one person who was affected," one said one resident of Wels, about 200 km (125 miles) west of Vienna.

The Mayor of Wels, Peter Koits, said the survivors had returned home in a state of shock.

"They don't want to talk to anyone," he told Reuters.

The mayor said that four children in the town had been left orphans by the disaster, though no children from the town had died.

Reports say that the two survivors from Wels had stopped for breakfast while the other members of the party went ahead and boarded the train.

Repeated tragedy

One of those who died on Saturday was among the few survivors of the 1983 hotel blaze in Istanbul, which killed 11 residents of the town.

"I would have never thought that something like this would happen again," Mayor Koits said.

"The mood is deeply depressed, but some of the relatives were composed because they had already been informed by the media," said Felizitas Deutsch, a member of the local Crisis Intervention Team.

"I feel like I am in an absolute horror film. This can't be true," said a young girl who spoke to reporters.

See also:

26 Apr 00 | UK
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