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Fire in India Kills At Least 80 Schoolchildren - 2004-07-16


A fire in a school building in southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has left at least 80 children dead and scores wounded.

The fire raged this (Friday) morning in a temple town (Kumbhakonam, about 350 kilometers) southwest of the state capital, Madras (also known as Chennai).

Local officials say firefighters put out the blaze, as dozens of children with severe injuries were being taken to a hospital.

They say the final death toll could be much higher. About 900 children -- most aged six to 11 -- attend the school (Lord Krishna Middle).

Officials say the fire broke out in the kitchen and quickly spread to other parts of the three-story building.

An investigation is expected to reveal the cause of the fire, which is being treated as an accident.

Information for this report is provided by AFP.

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