14 die in blaze at shop for disabled

BERLIN — A fire broke out Monday in a workshop that employed dozens of mentally and physically disabled people in southwestern Germany, killing 14 and seriously injuring seven others, officials said.

The police were not able to immediately confirm a report by the local media that an explosion in a storeroom on the top floor of the facility in Titisee-Neustadt in the Black Forest region had caused the fire. There was also no information on whether chemicals kept in the storage area had been involved.

The workshop was run by the Caritas charity organization and employed about 120 people with various disabilities in jobs that include metal- and woodworking, according to Rainer Gantert, a spokesman for Caritas. Another 20 people were employed at the workshop to provide care and assistance, he said.

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