55 people die in Casablanca mattress factory fire

Saturday, April 26, 2008

55 people were killed today after a mattress factory in Casablanca, Morocco was swept by fire. The fire initiated on the ground floor this morning and quickly engulfed the entire building.

12 others were injured - seriously, according to the Irish Times - including one police officer. 100 firefighters were dispatched to the five-storey factory after the blaze broke out at 10 am local time. Earlier reports had indicated 25 deaths and eight people injured. MAP, the state news agency, is quoted by the Irish Times as saying the building was four storeys high, citing in turn city officials.

The disaster occurred at the Rosamor Ameublements factory, which is located in the Hay Hassani area of the nation's economic centre. Of the 150 people the facility employed, around 60 were inside at the time.

An official statement by city authorities shows that preliminary investigation indicates onsite chemicals were responsible for the fire's rapid spread, but no actual cause has yet been determined. A full inquiry has been launched to investigate the accident fully.