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Chirac announces investigation into heat wave's death toll

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7413.465 (Published 28 August 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:465
  1. Alexander Dorozynski
  1. Paris

    The death toll caused by the August heat wave in France has reached an unexpected and unprecedented high.


    Embedded Image

    French health minister Jean-François Mattei talks to an elderly patient at Tenon hospital, Paris, at the height of the heat wave

    Credit: JEAN AYISSI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

    The number of deaths, first estimated to be 3000, then 5000, last week exceeded 10 000, according to statistics of the Pompes Funèbres Générales, a group of 352 undertakers who handle about a quarter of funerals in the country.

    Extrapolating from their records, the undertakers' group estimates that the number of …

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