On this day: Siege of Waco compound comes to a deadly end

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76 people died when the Branch Davidian compound near Waco burned to the ground (KTRK)

On April 19, 1993, a 51-day stand-off at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco came to a fiery end, killing 76 people.

The siege started on February 28, when the ATF attempted to raid the Branch Davidian ranch for alleged weapons violations. An intense gunbattle ensued, killing four agents and six Branch Davidian members.

The ATF withdrew from the scene and the FBI took command of the situation.

The FBI attempted to negotiate with David Koresh, the leader of the Branch Davidians. The FBI negotiated the release of 19 children but 98 people stayed behind. Negotiations continued but eventually stalled and on April 19, the FBI and state authorities moved in on the compound.

Almost immediately the building caught fire and was engulfed in flames. Seventy-six Branch Davidians died in the building. Some were killed by gunshot wounds, and others were crushed by a concrete wall.

An investigation determined that the fire was started inside the building by the Branch Davidians. Controversy over the raid, siege and fire continue to this day.

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