Fire kills two orphans in Romanian sewer


Two orphans died and five people were injured after a fire broke out in a Bucharest sewer that the children had used for shelter.

A police captain said the fire was probably started by a candle the occupants had lit.

"The flames ignited piles of clothes and mattresses the children were probably sleeping on," he said. "Because it was an enclosed space, they were soon overwhelmed by the gases".

Police noticed smoke rising from a manhole yesterday afternoon and called the fire department.

Police said the victims were two boys, aged between 10 and 12, who lived at an orphanage hundreds of miles away in the eastern city of Tulcea. They died from burns and inhaling poisonous gases, he said.

The injured people, four men and a woman, were treated in hospital for carbon monoxide inhalation and burns. Hundreds of young people live in Bucharest sewers. Many of them have run away from state orphanages.