7 JAN 2019
Five teenage girls have died at a Polish escape room, where a fire broke out while they were celebrating a birthday.
The 15-year-old girls were participating in an escape room game in Koszalin, northern Poland when a fire broke out around 5 pm local time according to the BBC.
Police spokesperson Monika Kosiec said the bodies of the five girls were found in a room near the fire when firefighters put out a blaze.
A 25-year-old man was also seriously harmed and taken to hospital with burns.
Poland’s firefighting chief, Leszek Suski, said on Saturday that “makeshift” electrical wiring which was too close to flammable materials was to blame for the blaze, adding that the man in charge was probably not there when the fire broke out, according to AP.
Escape room games, which have risen in popularity in recent years, see participants get locked in a room in which they must solve puzzles and complete complicated tasks in order to get out.
Polish officials are now carrying out safety checks on similar games across the country, where the escape rooms are popular.
A day of mourning has been called for Koszalin, while a number of local events have been cancelled, with Polish President Andrzej Duda calling the fire an “appalling tragedy.”
“Five joyful girls starting out in life have had life torn away from them,” he tweeted.
Poland’s Interior Minister Joachim Brudziński also tweeted his condolences to the families of the girls.
“I want to express my sympathy and regrets to the families of the victims of the fire,” he said.