Four die in Lima fire near hotel for APEC delegates

2016-11-16 22:04
Firefighters prepare a stretcher outside Larcomar's shopping mall during a deadly fire in Lima, Peru. (Martin Mejia, AP)

Firefighters prepare a stretcher outside Larcomar's shopping mall during a deadly fire in Lima, Peru. (Martin Mejia, AP)

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Lima - At least four people died Wednesday in a fire that broke out in a shopping mall steps away from a Lima luxury hotel where some APEC Asia-Pacific trade summit delegations were expected to stay, officials said.

Four bodies - two men and two women - were found near the mall's movie theatre, and a search for additional victims is under way, police said.

Firefighters have reported seven missing persons.

"It is difficult because of the thick smoke in the area," said fire department official Manuel Vera at the scene.

The fire began around 09:45 (02:45 GMT) at the Larcomar shopping centre in the Peruvian capital city's Miraflores district. The nearby Marriot Hotel was slated to host several delegations and attendees of a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

Reports had suggested the delegation accompanying US President Barack Obama at the summit had planned to stay at the hotel.

Police chief Hugo Begazo acknowledged that Lima police had contacted the US delegation, and were working in coordination with US security operations.

But said the fire's proximity to the hotel was a coincidence.

"This is a fortuitous event that has nothing to do with APEC," Begazo said.

Firefighters said the blaze started in a movie theater on one of the mall's lowest levels, and frightened workers, citizens and tourists were evacuated from the area.

The mall, on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, is heavily frequented by foreign tourists.

Read more on:    peru

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