It is 7:45 p.m. on Tuesday, February 6, 1973 when the firefighters are informed that a fire is ravaging the college on rue Édouard Pailleron in the 19th arrondissement of Paris.
At 8:10 p.m., the four floors of the building collapsed.
Twenty bodies, sixteen children and four adults, are quickly found in the rubble.
The investigation establishes the criminal origin of the incident, but the families of the victims wonder: how the building could have caught fire and collapsed in just over half an hour of time?
The national education services, which have been building an average of 300 colleges per year for ten years to cope with the demographic explosion of the baby boom and the extension of compulsory schooling to 16 years of age, have they been too quick ignoring safety rules?
The affair of the College of Secondary Education (CES) Pailleron comes to clash in France Pompidou the still vivid memory of the drama of the discotheque the "5-7" whose trial has just ended.
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