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Seven killed in Massachusetts apartment blaze: fire officials

BOSTON (Reuters) - Seven people were killed when a fire tore through an apartment building in the Boston suburb of Lowell on Thursday morning, a Massachusetts fire official said.

Several people had jumped out of the building to escape the three-alarm fire, which struck the nine-apartment complex 30 miles (48 km) north of Boston just before 4 a.m. (0800 GMT), Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said.

It was unclear how many people were injured.

Some 48 people were estimated to have been inside the building when the fire erupted, said Jeff Winward, deputy chief of the Lowell Fire Department.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation, officials said.

(This story corrects spelling of name in paragraph 4, Winward not Windward)

(Reporting by Elizabeth Barber and Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Eric Beech)

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