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France Rouen: Fire Kills 13 At Birthday Party In Bar

A fire during a birthday party at a bar in the northern French city of Rouen has killed at least 13 people and injured six. Candles on a birthday cake started the fire at the Cuba Libre bar, which began around midnight on Saturday. The polystyrene ceiling of the basement room where the celebration was taking place caught fire, according to AFP.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said more than 50 firefighters were called to the fire. An inquiry is now under way, he said. Terrorism has been ruled out.

An official told AFP that the polystyrene ceiling tiles released a gas which poisoned the victims: "The group was unable to leave the basement and most of the victims died of asphyxiation."

Prime Minister Manuel Valls said in a tweet (in French): "Deep sadness with regard to the tragedy which mowed down 13 young lives. Compassion and support for the afflicted families."

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