Family shot before house fire: Swiss police

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Family shot before house fire: Swiss police
Smoke billows from the roof of a residential house that caught fire after a large explosion in Yverdon-les-Bains, western Switzerland, where five people were found dead earlier this week. They were shot before the fire, the police of the canton of Vaud said on Saturday. Photo: Olivier ALLENSPACH / FLASHPRESS/ALLENSPACH / AFP

Five people found dead in their burned-out house in western Switzerland this week were shot before the fire, police said Saturday, voicing suspicion a father had killed his family then himself.


"After two days of intense investigations, a family drama is the hypothesis favoured by the prosecutor in charge of the criminal investigation and the investigators," police in the western Vaud region said in a statement.

Emergency services were alerted early Thursday after a massive explosion followed by a raging fire engulfed a detached house in the lakeside town of Yverdon-les-Bains, in Vaud canton.

The bodies of all five family members -- a 45-year-old man, a 40-year-old woman and three girls aged five, nine and 13 -- who lived there were eventually found in the rubble.

Autopsies determined that each had been shot, resulting in wounds that could have caused their deaths.

"A weapon was found near the father, who may have carried out the four other homicides, before ending his own life," the police statement said.

There was so far no indication that anyone else had been involved, it added.

The cause of the fire had meanwhile not yet been formally established, the statement said.


However, police pointed out that "large quantities of accelerant, possibly gasoline" had been found in various rooms throughout the house.

"This could explain the level of damage to the building," the statement suggested.




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