Fire raced through a crowded Paris apartment building housing African immigrants early Friday, trapping residents in their sleep and killing 17 people as many as 14 of them children, police said.
Between eight and 14 of the victims were children, a police official said. A definitive count could not be established immediately because of the condition of the burned bodies, the official said.
Police and firefighters had earlier reported six children among the dead.
"There are lots of bodies that are unidentifiable," said the police official, speaking by telephone on customary condition he not be identified. However, there are at least eight children among the dead and there could be as many as 14, he said.