Last known body pulled from collapsed rink

Rescue workers have recovered the body of the last person known to be missing in the wreckage of a collapsed German ice rink, raising the number of people killed to 15 - most of them teenagers and children.Fire official Rudi Zeif said the body, found in a mound of snow amid the wreckage, was that of a 40-year-old woman listed as the last person unaccounted for after the rink's roof collapsed on Monday afternoon during a public skating session.

Rescue teams with search dogs and heavy equipment worked into the night to remove debris from the surface of the ice rink in the effort to find the woman.

Officials said the search would go on, just in case anyone else still lay buried, but indicated that the focus would now switch to investigating the cause of the tragedy in Bad Reichenhall, an Alpine spa town near the Austrian border.

"That will be the theme for the coming weeks," said mayor Wolfgang Heitmeier.In all, 12 children and three adults died.The children - still on Christmas holiday from school - were among the 50 people inside the building when it collapsed. Eighteen people were taken to hospital.

Rescuers had recovered the bodies of three children on Wednesday; authorities said all three appeared to have been crushed by the roof, which gave way under the weight of accumulated heavy, wet snow. Police identified one as a girl from Uzbekistan who had been living in the town. All the other victims were Germans from the mountainous area.

Prosecutors said an investigation into possible negligence was underway, amid angry questions from residents about how heavy but predictable snowfall could apparently cause a public building to collapse, reports London Free Press. I.L.

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