Polish ski resort gas explosion kills eight, including four children

Firefighters work at the site of a building levelled by a gas explosion in Szczyrk
Firefighters work at the site of a building, levelled by a gas explosion, in the ski resort town of Szczyrk, Poland December 4, 2019 in this image obtained from social media. Radio Bielsko via REUTERS

December 5, 2019

(Reuters) – Eight people were killed when a three-story building in the southern Polish ski resort of Szczyrk collapsed on Wednesday following a gas explosion, local authorities said on Thursday.

The bodies of four children and four adults, most likely from two families, have been found in the rubble, authorities said.

Roughly 200 people, including fire fighters and police, took part in the rescue efforts. The search operation would be scaled down on Thursday, officials said, with heavy machinery brought in to sift through the rubble. It was not expected that more victims would be found.

“It is a very difficult operation. I don’t remember such a high number of casualities in a gas explosion,” Jacek Kleszczewski, a regional fire fighters’ chief, said.

A local gas utility said the explosion was likely caused by a hole drilled into an installation.

(Reporting by Pawel Florkiewicz; Editing by Frances Kerry)