Stockholm - Six people, including five children aged one to 16, were killed by a fire in an apartment building in the Swedish capital of Stockholm, police said Sunday.
The girls and their mother were trying to escape the Saturday night blaze in an elevator. The girls suffocated in the elevator while the mother, 40, died overnight from smoke inhalation.
The fire broke out Saturday evening shortly after 10:00 pm (2000 GMT) in the kitchen of a basement apartment in Stockholm's northern Rinkeby neighbourhood. Witnesses spoke of hearing explosion-like noises.
Other residents who stayed in their apartments were rescued by emergency services. Nonetheless, many of the building's 46 residents were taken to hospitals with severe injuries.
"There was an awful panic full of screaming and crying people," one witness told the internet edition of the newspaper Expessen.
No information was available as to the cause of the fire, though some police sources said there was no indication of arson.
A spokesman for the city's Muslim community urged a speedy investigation into the fire to clear up a variety of rumours.
Almost two-thirds of Rinkeby's population of around 50,000 have immigrant backgrounds. The victims were all Muslim, meaning their religion dictates that they be buried as soon as possible. (dpa)
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