A fire in a French vacation home for disabled people has killed at least nine people, with two more feared dead, rescuers have said.
Earlier, French authorities had said 11 adults were missing after the fire broke out early on Wednesday in a holiday home for people with disabilities in eastern France.
Interior minister Gerald Darmanin tweeted that “early this morning, a fire broke out in a facility for disabled people” in the small town of Wintzenheim, close to the border with Germany.
“Despite the rapid and courageous intervention of the fire department… several casualties are reported,” he said. Rescue operations were still ongoing.
The local administration of the Haut-Rhin region said the fire broke out at 6.30am in private accommodation in Wintzenheim. Seventeen people were evacuated from the accommodation, including one person sent to hospital in a “relative emergency”.
Christophe Marot, the secretary general of the local administration, said on news broadcaster France Info the group included adults with “slight intellectual disabilities”. He said that 10 disabled people and one person accompanying the group were among the missing.
The group usually lives in the city of Nancy, in eastern France, the statement from the Haut-Rhin prefecture said.
“The building was being used … for their vacation,” the statement added.
A total of 76 firefighters, four fire engines and four ambulances were deployed to contain the blaze and treat the victims. Forty police officers were also mobilised.
The fire was quickly brought under control, the statement said.
French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter, now rebranded as X: “In the face of this tragedy, my thoughts are with the victims, the injured and their families. Thank you to our security forces and emergency services.”
Prime minister Elisabeth Borne said she was heading to the site of the fire.