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At least 21 dead when a residential building burns in a Gaza refugee camp

Firefighters examine a room in the building affected by the fire, which has already been controlled. / MAHMUD HAMS / AFP

Preliminary investigations suggest that there was a large amount of benzene inside the property that could have caused the fire.

T. SNOW

At least 21 people have died and several more have been injured this Thursday after a fire broke out in a residential building located in the Jabalia refugee camp, in the north of the Gaza Strip, according to the WAFA news agency.

Preliminary investigations into the accident, according to the Ministry of the Interior, suggest that there was a large amount of benzene inside the building that could have caused the fire, which has already been controlled by firefighters.

The fire would have started in one of the apartments and would have later spread to the other floors. The injured have been transferred to the nearest hospital, although the official balance is unknown at the moment, since the security forces continue to work in the area.

The Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Mohamed Shtayé, has announced urgent assistance to the families of the victims, while, for his part, President Mahmud Abbas has decreed this Friday as a national day of mourning.

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