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Victims of Poland escape room fire to be buried together

Players in escape room games are locked inside a room or building and must solve puzzles to unlock the door.

Forensic and other police experts examine the site of a fire in an Escape Room, in Koszalin, northern Poland
Forensic and other police experts examine the site of a fire in an Escape Room, in Koszalin, northern Poland
Image: AP

THE FIVE TEENAGE girls who died in a fire at an escape room entertainment site in northern Poland will be buried together in a joint ceremony this week, the city mayor has said.

Fire officials said that 26 similar sites have been shut down due to security flaws since the accident on Friday. Inspections of some 1,100 sites across Poland continue.

The man who designed the escape room in the city of Koszalin has been detained and charged with intentionally creating a fire danger and unintentionally causing the deaths. The local court ordered him held for three months while the case proceeds.

Prosecutors said the site’s heating system was faulty and there was no emergency evacuation route.

Koszalin Mayor Piotr Jedlinski said the city is arranging and financing the joint burial on Thursday of the 15-year-old victims, who were friends from the same school class and celebrating a birthday when the accident took place.

Prosecutor Ryszard Gasiorowski said today that during questioning, an employee at the site who suffered burns and remains hospitalised told investigators that one of the gas cylinders in the reception room’s heating system began making a strange sound and he couldn’t fix it.

He said the fire started suddenly and cut off his way to the door of the locked room where the girls were. The employee then ran out of the building and asked passers-by to call help.

Players in escape room games are locked inside a room or building and must solve puzzles and find clues that lead them to the key that will unlock the door. The games are highly popular among teenagers in Poland.

Psychologists were at the victims’ school today to help students and teachers cope with the trauma.

In reaction to the tragedy, movie distributor United International Pictures’ spokeswoman Kinga Zych said it was putting off the premiere in Poland of US horror movie Escape Room by Adam Robitel, which had been scheduled to hit theatres on Friday.

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