Source Pravda.Ru

Fire at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport kills 10, police say

A fire sparked in a prison complex at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport killed 10 people and injured 15 others, a police spokesman said Thursday.

The identity of the dead was not immediately known.

Prison cells at the airport are generally used to detain drug smugglers and illegal immigrants. It was unclear if any prisoners escaped.

"There was a fire at a building on the east side of the airport," military police spokesman Rob Stenakker told The Associated Press. "At least 10 people were killed."

He declined to release further details.

Hundreds of cocaine smugglers, mostly from the Caribbean and Curacao, are detained at the airport every year, as are immigrants caught trying to enter the country illegally. Prison cell capacity was greatly expanded in 2002.

The fire broke out shortly after midnight and raged until 3 a.m., Dutch media reported. Fire fighters and airport police were among the injured, according to the reports.

There were 350 prisoners being held in the complex when the fire broke out. Some 43 were in the wing that caught fire. Prisoners were taken to other facilities in nearby cities or moved elsewhere within the complex, the reports said.

Helicopters were called in during the fire to track down possible escaped detainees, Dutch media reported, reports the AP.

P.T.

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