ATF

Sample Block


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives



FY-04-17

Contacts: Andrew L. Lluberes

Sheree L. Mixell, 202-927-8500




For Immediate Release
www.atf.gov

August 6, 2004

 

ATF
SENDS INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TEAM TO PARAGUAY

Experts to
Investigate Fire That Has Claimed More Than 400 Lives

WASHINGTON
- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced
today that it has sent an International Response Team to Paraguay to
assist in the investigation of a supermarket fire that has claimed more
than 400 lives.

The
ATF team arrived in Asuncion, Paraguay's capital, Aug. 5 and is composed
of a special agent in charge, five special agents who are also certified
fire investigators, two explosives enforcement officers and a chemist.
The team will assist Paraguayan authorities in determining the cause
of the Aug. 1 fire at the Ycuá Bolaños supermarket on
the outskirts of Asuncion.

The
blaze has claimed more than 400 lives and is being called Paraguay's
worst disaster since the country's war with neighboring Bolivia in the
1930s.

ATF,
which has federal jurisdiction in the United States for investigating
arson and other major fires, sent the team in response to a request
for assistance from Paraguay's attorney general.

The
ATF International Response Team participates with the Diplomatic Security
Service of the U.S. Department of State to provide technical and investigative
assistance at international explosives and fire incidents. The IRT activation
to Paraguay is the 25th since 1991, including previous responses to
Argentina, Ecuador, El Salvador, Korea, Macedonia, Pakistan and Peru.

 

###