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France: Man arrested over bush fire that left thousands of rail passengers stranded

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France: Man arrested over bush fire that left thousands of rail passengers stranded
Firefighters work to put out a wildfire on a fire in Carnoux-en-Provence near Aubagne. AFP.
10:34 CEST+02:00
An arrest has been made over a fire that raged in southern France over the weekend, with the police believing an arsonist to be responsible for the flames.
A man has been arrested in connection with a bush fire that broke out on Saturday in southern France.  
Currently in police custody, he is believed to be responsible for starting the fire in Aubagne, 20 kilometres (12 miles) east of Marseille, which ended up ripping across rail tracks, causing thousands of rail passengers to be stranded. 
Arrested on Sunday, according to France 3, firefighters noticed the man acting suspiciously in the area where the flames broke out.
Passengers at a train station in Marseille following the fires in Aubagne. AFP
He was found to have "a bag containing a lighter, compresses and plastic gloves", France 3 reported. 
Over 3,000 travellers in southern France spent Saturday night camped out in train stations as a result of the fire which cut off a busy route between Marseille and the resort city of Nice.
Around 1,300 people were stranded in Marseille, 1,700 in Toulon and 370 in Nice after the fire broke out in Aubagne, 20 kilometres (12 miles) east of Marseille, and ripped across the tracks, state railway company SNCF said.
In total, the fire damaged 240 hectares of farmland in the southern Bouches-du-Rhône department. 
Southern France has been hit by several wildfires this summer, including blazes at the beginning of August that forced 400 campers and residents to flee the area 25km south west of Montpellier
This followed devastating fires in southern France, including in the Var, Vaucluse, Alpes-Maritimes and Bouches-du-Rhone departments and the town of Carros to the north of Nice. They also ravaged northern Corsica. 


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