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Dutch fire claims 12th victim

Volendam
Fire broke out at a cafe in the fishing village of Volendam  

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- The death toll from the Dutch cafe fire on New Year's Day has risen after a 12th victim died.

Christin Grossmann, 15, died in hospital in the city of Aken on Thursday, the Dutch news service ANP reported.

The fire at the harbourside Het Hemeltje cafe in the fishing village of Volendam is believed to have been triggered when revellers lit sparklers which ignited ceiling decorations that had not been sprayed with flame-retardant material.

The fire broke out as hundreds of teenagers celebrated the New Year. Mass panic followed after the party goers discovered that all but one of the emergency exits had been blocked preventing their escape.

More than 180 people were injured -- many remain in hospital, All the dead were in their teens or early 20s.

A memorial ceremony to remember the victims took place last Friday when Prime Minister Wim Kok and Crown Prince Willem-Alexander joined 15,000 other mourners on a silent march through the streets of Volendam.

The public prosecutor's office has said it plans a criminal investigation of the owner of the cafe and his daughter.

Reuters contributed to this report.



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RELATED SITES:
Volendam, Netherlands
ANP news agency

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