Last respects paid in Germany to nine dead from fire
( dpa ) - Mourners paid their last respects Sunday to nine people killed a week ago in an apartment building fire, with the bodies then to be flown to Turkey for burial.
The eight, who choked on toxic fumes, and a woman killed by injuries from jumping from the third storey of the building were all members of an extended family attached to the Alawite faith.
The funeral visitation was held with the coffins on the street outside the century-old corner building in the factory town of Ludwigshafen which was gutted by fire on February 4.
Maria Boehmer, an aide to Chancellor Angela Merkel in charge of relations with ethnic minorities, was representing the federal government at the open-air memorial ceremony.
Police, backed by four liaison officers from Turkey, say neither arson nor a spark from old electrical wires are ruled out as causes in a continuing investigation.
About 100 relations were to accompany the dead on the flight to Gaziantep in Anatolia, a Frankfurt International Airport official said. The cortege was expected to reach the family graves there on Monday.
The dead comprised four women and five children.