Eleven killed by fire in tower block of Czech Republic


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Saturday afternoon caught fire

Police in the Czech Republic are investigating a fire that killed 11 people, including three children.

Saturday’s blast in a block of flats in the northeastern city of Bohumin has been described as the worst fire in the country’s history.

Six people died and another was killed by jumping from the 11th floor balcony in an attempt to avoid the flames.

Ten people, including two firemen and a police officer, were injured.

Bohuin is about 300 km (190 mi) east of the capital Prague, on the Czech-Polish border.

Moravia-Silesia region governor Ivo Wondrak said the fire started deliberately.

According to eyewitness reports, one person was handcuffed to the spot after peacefully accepting the police.

Police declined to comment on those claims, but they have confirmed that one person was arrested.

Interior Minister Jan Hamsack later told Czech Radio that what he called “a great tragedy” was the culmination of a long-running conflict between neighbors.

Vladimir Valsek, head of the regional fire brigade, told Czech television that the explosion spread very quickly.

“The fire was too fast to develop, which is not normal. A fire like that usually affects one room, but it kills an entire flat, all rooms are burned,”

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EPA