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Heat System and Fiberglass Blamed in Austria Fire

  • Friday, 2nd February 2001
  • Reading time: less than a minute

The fire that killed 155 people trapped in a cable car late last year originated in the heating system, an Austrian weekly reported Monday. The weekly Profil cited a member of the panel of experts investigating the cause of the tragedy as blaming the heating system. The person did not want to be identified. There was no official confirmation. The weekly cited the head of the expert team, Volker Edlinger, as saying that the fire was able to spread quickly at high temperatures because the cabin was made of a highly flammable compound of molded fiberglass and plastic. Later this week, the melted-down car is to be transported from the now-sealed tunnel where the tragedy occurred in Kaprun, south of Salzburg, for further inspection. The fire broke out Nov. 11 in a cable car heading up a tunnel through the mountainside, killing 155 people from Austria, Germany, the United States, Japan, Slovenia, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. It was the worst accident of its kind on record.

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