Several killed in Czech apartment building fire, suspect arrested

At least 11 people, including three children, killed in fire in an apartment building in Bohumin city, officials say.

czech republic
People look on as firefighters work at the scene where a fire broke out in an apartment block in Bohumin, eastern Czech Republic [Lukas Kabon/AFP]

A fire at a high-rise apartment block in the Czech Republic killed 11 people, including three children and five other people who jumped to their deaths, police and firefighters said.

The fire on Saturday occurred in a 13-storey concrete block of flats in the city of Bohumin on the Czech-Polish border, some 300km (190 miles) east of the capital, Prague.

Police said the fire was started deliberately in the building that belongs to the Bohumin Town Hall.

“We have detained one person … I think we are good when it comes to the culprit,” Tomas Kuzel, police chief in the northeastern Czech region, told the public Czech Television.

Lukas Popp, a spokesman for local firefighters, told AFP news agency that the fire broke out in a flat on the 11th floor.

“Six people died on this floor, including three children and three adults – and a dog,” he said.

The other five died after they were trying to escape from the building “in panic” by jumping from its windows on the 12th floor, Interior Minister Jan Hamacek told Czech public radio. 

“Our firefighters were on the site really fast but during the action, five people jumped out of the 12th-storey window and died,” said Popp.

Hamacek said in a tweet a firefighter had suffered a serious injury in the fire which he described as “a huge tragedy”.

“My deepest condolences to the bereaved,” he said. “I wish a speedy recovery to the injured firefighter.”

Source: News Agencies