Charred ruins and broken hearts

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As day broke after a night of inferno in Lærdal, the charred ruins of a mountain town that was an important part of Norway’s cultural heritage came to light. One witness to the destruction, Daniel Laabak, took this video of the still-smoking remains, which was posted on YouTube Friday morning:

Scores of residents in the small, picturesque town of Lærdalsøyri were left homeless by the blaze that began Saturday night, and more than 90 were being treated for injuries at area hospitals. Witnesses described a town in shock, and national conservationists spoke of irreplaceable losses.

Firefighters still lacked control over the blaze by midday on Sunday and were warning of possible explosions. Lærdal remained under evacuation orders, as emergency workers also scrambled to restore electricity and telephone service knocked out by the blaze. staff