Europe

County Dublin fire: Ten people die in blaze at travellers' site

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionFire Officer Denis Keedy: "We suspect that the fire started in one unit and spread to the second one"

Ten people, including a number of children, have died in a fire at a travellers' site in the Republic of Ireland.

Emergency services were called to the Glenamuck Road in Carrickmines, County Dublin, at about 04:00 local time on Saturday.

Among those who died were a husband, wife and their five children. The children were all under 10 years old.

Police said one child who died was a six-month-old baby girl.

Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption Firefighters said they believed the fire had spread quickly between two buildings

One of the children died in hospital.

Risked

It is understood that most, if not all, of the victims were members of two families.

Two adults injured in the blaze are being treated in hospital for the effects of breathing in smoke.

Dublin Fire Brigade said early indications suggest the blaze broke out at a pre-fabricated building and quickly spread.

Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption A full investigation into the cause of the fire is being carried out by police and fire officers

Six fire appliances from several areas had been sent to the scene.

The fire service said paramedics had risked their lives to rescue children from the fire.

Generations

Police said there was nothing to suggest arson at this stage, but the area has been sealed off for a forensic examination.

One travellers' rights group said it was concerned that overcrowding at the site may have been a factor in the incident.

Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption One travellers' support group said the community had been left "in a state of shock"

Another organisation, the Southside Traveller Action Group, said the families had been living on the site for about eight years.

In a statement, it said: "The traveller community in south Dublin [is] in a state of shock at the devastating loss of lives."

It is understood three generations of one family were living on the site.

Numbness

Enda Kenny, the Irish prime minister, said he gave sympathies on behalf of the Irish people to the friends and relatives of those who died.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The deaths had been a "most dreadful tragedy", Irish President Michael D Higgins said

"It's such an unspeakable tragedy to have an entire family wiped out in a horrific inferno," he added.

Irish President Michael D Higgins said the deaths in the blaze had been "a most dreadful tragedy".

"My thoughts at this time are with the families and friends of those who have lost their lives and those who have been injured," he added.

Independent parliamentarian Shane Ross, who lives close to where the fire happened, said there was a "numbness and silence" at the scene.

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said the deaths had been "horrific news to wake to".