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Fire Ravages Paris Train Station

March 16, 2002

PARIS (AP) _ A fire broke out at a main railroad station in Paris early Saturday, temporarily throwing train service into disarray and injuring five people. France’s national railway said arson was suspected.

Some 160 firefighters and dozens of fire trucks were mobilized to put out the blaze, which broke out shortly after midnight at the Saint-Lazare station in central Paris, officials said. It took about four hours to extinguish the fire.

Officials with the SNCF railway said the evidence pointed to an arson attack.

``There are facts that are still troubling: two fires erupted at the same place, and a door was broken in,″ SNCF President Louis Gallois said on France-2 television. ``These are clues that are sufficiently strong to lead us to file suit for arson.″

Gallois did not say whether investigators had any suspects.

Three firefighters and two railway workers were treated for smoke inhalation. Train traffic returned to normal later Saturday.

Many ticket windows and offices were damaged at the station, which is located near the Au Printemps and Galeries Lafayette department stores.

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