Escape Room Owner Charged After Fire Kills Five Teenagers
Police are cracking down on dangerous escape rooms, after five teenagers died in a fire in one such location last week.
The girls, identified by their first names as Julia, Amelia, Gosia, Karolina and Wiktoria, were playing in the escape room on Friday in the city of Koszalin.
A 28-year-old man, identified only as Milosz S., has been charged with "deliberately creating the danger of a fire in the escape room and with unintentionally causing the death of people in a fire", a spokesperson for Koszalin district prosecutor said.
Milosz S., the owner of the private house that the escape room operated out of, was detained and questioned after the fire.
An employee, who suffered serious burns while trying to rescue the girls, has also been questioned by police.
The room, designed for players to complete puzzles and find clues in order to unlock the door, did not have emergency exits, firefighter chief Leszek Suski said.
The bodies of the teenagers, all aged 15, were found by firefighters after they put out a blaze burning next to the locked room they were in.
A gas leak is being blamed as the cause of the fire, and a post-mortem examination of the bodies found they died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Police chief Jaroslaw Szymczyk said other people had previously posted critical remarks online about the safety of that escape room site, but local officials were not notified.
Polish authorities have closed 13 escape room facilities over safety concerns following the tragedy.
Since Friday, more than 200 of Poland's 1100 escape rooms have been checked, revealing a number of safety flaws that needed to be immediately fixed.
A vigil was held over the weekend outside the building, as people left flowers and candles in memory of the five girls.
Feature Image: AP