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P.M. BRIEFING : Fire Damages Historic Bourse

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Fire swept through the Brussels stock exchange early today, causing extensive damage to the ornate 19th-Century building but no injuries, police said.

Witnesses said smoke was billowing out of broken windows two hours after the fire started at around 6 a.m., apparently after an electrical main junction box blew up.

The Belgian news agency Belga quoted a fire spokesman as saying the exchange would remain closed all day.

Police said the trading floor and brokers’ offices had been seriously damaged. Electricity supplies to the building, built in the 1870s and housing several works by 19th-Century French sculptor Auguste Rodin, had been cut as a precaution.

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Dealers’ computer terminals melted in the fire, but the main computer, which is in the cellar, appeared to be undamaged.


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