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London Hotel Fire Kills Two : Tourists Jammed 6-Story Building Near Palace

December 02, 1987|United Press International

LONDON — A fire swept through a six-story hotel packed with tourists near Buckingham Palace today, killing two people in a blaze that took firefighters more than an hour to control.

The cause of the blaze was not immediately known. Scotland Yard said the fire was being treated as of suspicious origin, although it was not thought to have been caused by a "terrorist device."

The six-story Rubens Hotel was a target of a foiled Irish Republican Army bombing two years ago. Police then found an unexploded time bomb in one of its bedrooms.

The hotel had 230 guests Tuesday night and most of them, plus the 80 staff members, were evacuated as soon as the fire was reported about 10 a.m. today.

London Fire Brigade officials said one woman was found dead in her room on the fourth floor of the building and another guest, carried out by firemen, died on arrival at Westminster Hospital.

Police said the man was 45 and from the Sudan and the woman was 58 and from Australia.

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