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Firefighters hurt as explosions threaten treasures at Paris museum

Paris (Reuters) - Two firefighters were injured and extensive damage was feared after a fire broke out in Paris last night at the Musee de l'Homme, which traces human history with treasures including statues, frescos and costumes.

More than 100 firefighters were called in and brought the blaze under control. Along with several explosions, the fire began in the roof and spread to an area of 4,000 square metres in the Palais de Chaillot housing the museum in the Trocadero square. Culture minister Catherine Trautmann visited the scene last night. "The firefighters are doing a very delicate job," she said.

The director of the Palais de Chaillor said that the roof had recently been renovated. "The frame of the roof window caught fire and that made the glass explode. The frame fell on the museum collections ... mouldings, plasterwork... the museum has never known such a catastrophe." he said.

Photograph: AFP