Several dead in New York fire, one of worst in recent city history

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At least 19 people died on Sunday and around 60 were injured in a fire in a building in the Bronx district of New York, announced the city’s new mayor, Eric Adams. Firefighters said the fire was caused by a heater.

At least 19 people died and around 60 injured in a huge fire which broke out on Sunday, January 9, in the New York district of the Bronx, announced the city’s firefighters. Investigators “determined on the basis of material clues and the first testimonies of residents that the fire started from a bedroom and an auxiliary heating”, declared Daniel Nigro, the fire chief of New York, during a press briefing at the foot of this HLM-type building.

“This is going to be one of the worst fires in our history. We know we have 19 people dead along with several others in critical condition and over 63 people injured,” Mayor Eric Adams said live on television. of New York.

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According to the mayor’s office quoted by American television, nine children and teenagers are among the 19 people who died.

The new mayor of New York, a former African-American police officer who took office on 1is January, spoke of a “real tragedy not just for the Bronx and the city”.

About 200 firefighters were mobilized on the spot in the middle of the day. The firefighters recorded “31 serious injuries to civilians”, they tweeted around 12:30 p.m. local time.

In images circulating on social networks, huge flames and thick black smoke escaped in the morning from a window of a multi-story building in the Bronx, a huge neighborhood in northern New York.

The city’s mayor went to the scene, according to his official Twitter account, where photos of him alongside firefighters were posted.

“An awful day for us”

George King, a resident of a neighboring building told AFP of a scene of “chaos”: “I have lived here for 15 years, this is the first time I have seen something like this.”

He said he “saw smoke, a lot of panicked people” and that “nobody wanted to jump from the building”.

New York firefighters, called to the scene around 11 a.m. (4 p.m. GMT), had initially announced a toll of around thirty injured and had brought the disaster under control in two hours.

“It’s really an atrocious day for us,” said Eric Adams, a centrist Democrat elected on a program to fight crime and economic and social inequality in New York.

Last Wednesday, a terrible fire in an apartment building in Philadelphia killed 12 people, including eight children.

And in this same district of the Bronx, in December 2017, a fire had killed 12 people including four children, the most serious in 25 years in the city. It had been caused by a three-and-a-half-year-old child who was playing with a gas stove.

Megacity of nine million inhabitants, New York suffers in various neighborhoods from a huge housing crisis, with sometimes dilapidated and poorly maintained buildings.

With AFP

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