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French bakers jailed over alleged insurance fraud in deadly Lyon fire

A blaze broke out after a gas blast at a Lyon bakery situated on the ground floor of the two-storey building, 2 February 2019. AFP

Lyon’s public prosecutor has remanded in custody two owners of a bakery that burned down in February, killing a pregnant woman and her four-year-old son, in a suspected case of arson insurance fraud.

"Although they deny the facts, they are accused of having set fire to their place of business, in order to benefit from insurance money," Lyon public prosecutor Nicolas Jacquet said in a statement.

The two were arrested on Tuesday and placed under formal investigation on Thursday, accused of conspiring to commit arson, leading to death, and attempted insurance fraud.

The fire broke out on 9 February, killing a pregnant woman, her son, and injuring two others. 

The case is still under investigation, but prosecutors believe there was no intent to cause death.

Another suspect, a relative of one of the owners in his 50s, was indicted and imprisoned for complicity in the crime late February.

Another 50-year-old suspect, identified immediately after the blaze, is currently on the run with an international warrant out for his arrest.

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