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THE WORLD | IN BRIEF / FRANCE

Unknown Victims of Heat Wave Are Buried

September 04, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

French President Jacques Chirac stood by silently as 57 heat-wave victims whose bodies were never claimed were buried side by side in the Paris suburb of Thiais. Despite the state honor, they were buried in a part of the cemetery usually reserved for the destitute or homeless.

The heat wave killed an estimated 11,435 people nationwide in August, when temperatures went as high as 104. Many victims died alone in overheated apartments while their families were on vacation.

A few dozen mourners turned up at the ceremony with bouquets. Some said they didn't know any of the victims but were moved by their solitude.

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