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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 January, 2004, 18:45 GMT
Fire disaster trial nears end

By Bethany Bell
BBC, Salzburg

The trial in Austria's worst peacetime disaster, the ski train fire at the Alpine resort of Kaprun in November 2000, has entered its final phase.

Prosecutors delivering their closing arguments on Tuesday blamed the tragedy on a heater unsuitable for vehicles.

Some 155 people were killed when a fire broke out in a funicular train that was going through a tunnel up to a ski resort on the Kitzsteinhorn mountain.

Among the dead were skiers from Japan, Austria, Germany, the US and a Briton.

Flowers in Kaprun after the tragedy
About 155 skiers died in the fire in the Alpine resort
Sixteen people, including officials from the train company and transport inspectors face charges of negligence.

They pleaded not guilty.

In her summing up, the State Prosecutor Eva Danninger- Soriat said the fire had started in the cheap and inappropriately installed heater that was not designed for trains.

She said there had been a serious lack of fire safety measures.

The defence is due to give its final summing up on Wednesday, and a verdict is expected in February.

Silence engulfs Kaprun
13 Nov 00  |  Europe

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