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Man charged in Poland 'escape room' blaze that killed five

Man charged in Poland 'escape room' blaze that killed five

WARSAW, POLAND-Polish firefighters on Saturday blamed substandard electrical wiring and lax security procedures at an "Escape Room" for a fire that killed five teenage girls and injured a man.

Fire spokesman Tomasz Kubiak could only confirm that the dead were women, telling AFP that "one man with severe burns was taken to an intensive care unit".

The 15-year-olds had been celebrating a birthday when they died on Friday, locked inside a room.

The cause of Friday's fire was not immediately known.

Escape rooms, a party attraction in which users are locked in a room and must answer puzzles and complete tasks to get out, are extremely popular among young people in Poland.

"The tragedy occurred primarily due to the lack of an effective evacuation route", said Leszek Suski, head of the state firefighting service, according to the PAP news agency.

Gasiorowski said the fire probably broke out in the reception room and blocked the employee's way to evacuate the girls.

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Over the past few years, escape rooms have soared in popularity, with many expensive and complex options.

Asphyxiation is the probable cause of the deaths, officials said.

During a memorial Mass at Koszalin Cathedral, Bishop Edward Dajczak identified the girls by their first names as Julia, Amelia, Gosia, Karolina and Wiktoria. Firefighters found the bodies of the 15-year-old victims after they extinguished a fire next to the locked room.

"A devastating tragedy in Koszalin", Interior Minister Joachim Brudziński said on Twitter.

Brudzinski said the families of the victims had the full support of the government and said he had ordered fire controls to be initiated in all "escape room" facilities across the country.

On Sunday, Koszalin Mayor Piotr Jedlinski declared a day of mourning and appealed to residents to hold no entertainment gatherings or parties.


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