Six people have died in a guesthouse fire near Berchtesgaden in southern Germany. Acording to local media, 47 people had been staying in the converted farmhouse used by an outdoor activities operator.
Fire investigators found the remains of six victims on Saturday while searching the gutted upper storey of the 800-year-old farmhouse. Seven other persons, including employees of a visiting Bavarian firm, are being treated for serious injuries.
Bavarian public broadcaster BR said the rustic, three-storey farmhouse at Schneizlreuth near Berchtesgaden had been converted by an #link:www.straub-naturerlebnis.de:outdoor adventure firm# to accommodate its guests taking part in events such as rafting and climbing.
Police said the visitors were employees of a Bavarian firm who were spending their Pentecost holiday weekend in the forested, sub-alpine location.
According to eyewitnesses, the fire broke out at around 3 a.m. local time.
Members of the group, some themselves injured, tried to wake up other guests and alert them to the danger.
More than 250 emergency service personnel turned out. The blaze was finally extinguished early on Saturday afternoon, local time.
The investigators said they could not exclude the possibility of a defect in electrical equipment. Evidence of arson had not been found, police said.
ipj/cmk (dpa, AFP)