Published: Mon, January 07, 2019
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Poland shuts down 13 ‘escape room’ sites because of safety flaws

Poland shuts down 13 ‘escape room’ sites because of safety flaws

Polish officials have shut down 13 escape room entertainment sites for safety flaws and the prime minister asked people Sunday to report such lapses to firefighters and police after five teenage girls were killed in a fire.

The bodies of the 15-year-old victims were found at the venue on Friday night, where they had been celebrating one of their birthdays.

The teens were believed to have been good friends in the same class at school.

Al Jazeera has reported the Polish state news agency, PAP, said it had learned unofficially the girls died from carbon monoxide asphyxiation. What caused the fire has not been determined.

A 25-year-old man was seriously injured in the blaze which started at around 17:00 local time (16:00 GMT) in the city of Koszalin on Friday. Regarded as an intellectual challenge, the games are highly popular among teenagers in Poland.

A local prosecutor told reporters the fire had probably been caused by an escape of gas near the heating system boiler.

Fire officials suspect faulty electrical wiring led to the fire.

Identifying the suspect only as Milosz S. for legal reasons, Gasiorowski said he had neglected to ensure escape routes that could have allowed the girls to flee when the blaze broke out.

Fire chief Leszek Suski said the site had no emergency evacuation route.

President Andrzej Duda said on Twitter it was a "crushing tragedy" that five young girls died so early in their lives. The first inspections were being held Saturday, the Interior Ministry said.

Previously, there was no official requirement for fire safety certificates at such locations. The annual Epiphany procession was cancelled.

Brudziński then shared his condolences in a tweet, he said: "I want to express my sympathy and regrets to the families of the victims of the fire".

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