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Day of mourning in Estonia for child fire victims

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Day of mourning in Estonia for child fire victims


Estonia is marking a day of mourning after 10 children were killed on Sunday in a fire at an orphanage for disabled children.

The president of the Baltic country, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, said the tragedy in the coastal town of Haapsalu, west of the capital Tallinn, had shocked the whole of Estonia.

The authorities said security systems and fire alarms had been checked last month and were in working order.

Nine adults and 37 children were in the home when the fire took hold on Sunday afternoon. One adult was injured. It is thought the victims included some of the most disabled children who were having an afternoon nap.

Fire fighters arrived quickly but had difficulty tackling the blaze in the wooden building, which was already engulfed in flames.

The surviving children are being looked after in a nearby shelter. What caused the fire at the orphanage, which first opened its doors 60 years ago, is not known.

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