Poland to shut down 13 escape rooms over safety flaws

The blaze began around 5 p.m. on Friday at an “Escape Room&rdquo venue in Koszalin

The fate of five 15-year-old girls who perished in a fire at an "escape room" attraction in Poland was sealed by the lack of a proper evacuation route, a senior firefighter said on Saturday.

The 28-year-old suspect was charged with "deliberately creating the danger of a fire in the escape room" and "unintentionally causing the death of people in a fire", a spokesman for the district prosecutor said.

The youngsters perished in the fire that is believed to have started around 5pm local time (4pm GMT), on Friday afternoon.

Poland's Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski said the girls were all 15 years old
Agencja Gazeta Reuters Poland's Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski said the girls were all 15 years old

The Escape Room game, which is popular in the United Kingdom, sees players deliberately locked inside a room or building.

Autopsies showed that the girls, who were friends from school, died of carbon monoxide inhalation.

Over the past few years, escape rooms have soared in popularity, with many expensive and complex options.

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Officials have said asphyxiation was the probable cause of the deaths, and a gas leak was the most likely cause of the blaze.

Last night, four of the five victims were named on local news websites and social media as Karolina Barabas, Gosia Tymieniecka, Wiktoria Julia Pietras and Amelia Wieczorek.

Polish officials and the fire chief have confirmed that there was indeed a safety flaw didn't allow the children to escape from the blaze when the room caught fire.

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The players must find clues that help them get out. The games are popular with Polish teenagers.

Since the deaths of the children, there has been a public memorial held at Koszalin Cathedral and in front of the residence where the escape room was held.

Koszalin officials ordered a day of mourning for the teens.

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Poland's President Andrzej Duda sent his condolences to the victims' families on Twitter.

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