Eight People Die, 30 Injured at a Czech Home for Disabilities

Henrietta Strickland
January 19, 2020

A fire early on Sunday at an asylum for the mentally ill in the Czech Republic has left eight people dead, officials said.

"A total of 38 people were affected by the fire, of them, eight, unfortunately, died", emergency services spokesman Prokop Volenik told AFP.

The fire occurred in Vejprty on the country's northwest border with Germany in a home where mostly men with mental and other disabilities lived.

Dennik N newspaper reported that the fire started in one room and that most of those killed died from smoke inhalation.

He said 30 people were taken to the hospital - one in critical condition, three with serious injuries and 26 with light or no injuries.

Originally, rescuers said the fire had occurred at a nearby home for the elderly. German rescuers came to help their Czech colleagues, who were not able to use rescue helicopters due to bad weather.

Emergency teams declared the blaze a major incident and deployed seven ambulances, including two from Germany.

Firefighter spokesman Michal Zavoral said the blaze was contained and the cause was being investigated.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis visited the scene on Sunday morning and spoke on Twitter of a "terrible tragedy".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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