image

Poland

Five teenage girls die in fire at Polish ‘escape room’, where players are deliberately locked in

  • The dead girls, all aged 15, had reportedly been celebrating a birthday at a gaming facility in the northern Polish city of Koszalin
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 January, 2019, 2:30am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 January, 2019, 8:54pm

Five teenage girls have been killed and one man hurt in a fire that broke out at an “escape room” game, in which players are locked in a room and have to solve puzzles to get out, officials in northern Poland said on Friday.

Police said the dead were found after firefighters put out the blaze, which began around 5pm at an escape room venue in Koszalin.

Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski said the girls were all 15 years old.

Monika Kosiec, a spokeswoman for police in Koszalin, said the victims were thought to have been celebrating one of their birthdays. She said a 25-year-old man had been sent to hospital with burns and could not immediately be questioned by investigators about the cause of the fire.

Spokesman for regional firefighters, Tomasz Kubiak, said the bodies were found in a room that was near the fire but was not hit by it.

Real-life escape games offer respite from daily stresses

The Polish state news agency PAP said it had learned unofficially that the girls died from carbon monoxide asphyxiation.

Footage on private station TVN24 showed ambulances and fire engines in front of a detached two-story house with a large escape room sign in front.

Brudzinski ordered fire safety checks to be held at all similar attractions across the country.

The premise is the subject of a new film, Escape Room, that opened in North American cinemas on Thursday.

President Andrzej Duda said on Twitter it was a “crushing tragedy” that five young girls died so early in their lives.

Koszalin Mayor Piotr Jedlinski announced that Sunday would be a day of mourning in the city.