updated 8/6/2004 2:43:52 PM ET 2004-08-06T18:43:52

Authorities lowered the death toll Friday from a weekend supermarket blaze, announcing that 399 people were killed and 144 remain missing from Paraguay’s worst tragedy in decades.

Attorney General Oscar Latorre said authorities struck 27 names from the list of the dead after reports filed by hospitals, morgues and rescuers were found to contain duplications and other errors. He said 52 of the 399 bodies haven’t yet been identified.

Authorities have charged a co-owner of the Ycua Bolanos supermarket and four others with manslaughter after a security guard said he was ordered after Sunday’s fire broke out to lock doors to prevent people from stealing.

On Friday, forensic experts were still studying the site trying to determine the cause of the blaze, which some officials speculated may have been started by an exploding gas canister in the store’s food court.

Four other supermarkets in the Ycua Bolanos change remained shuttered, sparking a protest by some 800 workers who insisted the stores should resume operations.

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