Milan fire: Firefighters tackle blaze as flames engulf high-rise block of flats

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Italian firefighters battled a high-rise blaze in Milan that spread rapidly through a 20-storey residential building.

Mayor Giuseppe Sala said there were no reports of injuries or deaths, but that firefighters were kicking down doors, apartment by apartment, to make sure there were no victims.

"We are sure that there was time to get out, but until the controls are finished, we cannot be entirely sure," Mr Sala told reporters at the scene.

He said about 20 people were evacuated without incident.

The 60-metre tall building, part of a recent development project, was designed to look like the keel of a ship and included an aluminium sail on its roof, which burned and fell to the street in pieces.

The flames inside continued to burn nearly three hours after a dozen fire engines and ambulances responded.

A huge plume of black smoke rose from the reinforced concrete building named the Torre dei Moro and was visible for miles.

Plans for the project say it has 16 residential floors plus two underground.

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