May 22, 1967: A fire at the L’Innovation department store in Brussels, Belgium, kills 322 people. The second largest department store in Brussels, there were approximately 2,500 shopping in the store when a fire broke out in the furniture department on the fourth floor. There were no alarms to alert people, nor sprinklers to help extinguish the fire. Many suffered trampling injuries after panic set in, while looters added to the chaos. Many people made it to the roof seeking an escape route; at least three died jumping from the building. One firefighter, Jacques Mesmans, jumped from the second floor with a woman whom he was trying to save and broke both of his legs. Most of the 322 fatalities were from smoke inhalation.
Photo: A man slides down a rope and a woman is carried from the scene (Bettmann/Corbis)