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205 Bodies Recovered in Lima Fire

December 30, 2001

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LIMA, Peru (AP) _ Firefighters dug through the rubble Sunday of a massive blaze sparked by a fireworks explosion in historic downtown Lima just four blocks from Congress, retrieving more than 200 bodies by late morning.

Rescue workers retrieved the charred bodies of 122 people, including small children, killed in the streets as a wall of fire swept through four blocks of shops and rundown apartment buildings Saturday night. At least 144 were hospitalized with burns.

Another 83 bodies were discovered as firefighters began digging into the rubble of fire-gutted buildings, bringing the total number of recovered bodies to 205 by 11 a.m., said Luiz Bazan, a Civil Defense official.

He said rescue workers still had to search 60 percent of the burned structures, including at least six multistoried shopping complexes honeycombed with tiny stores.