Escape Room Nightmare

Forensic+and+police+experts+examine+the+site+of+the+fire+in+the+Escape+Room+in+Koszalin%2C+northern+Poland%2C+on+Jan.+5%2C+2019.+
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Escape Room Nightmare

Forensic and police experts examine the site of the fire in the Escape Room in Koszalin, northern Poland, on Jan. 5, 2019.

Forensic and police experts examine the site of the fire in the Escape Room in Koszalin, northern Poland, on Jan. 5, 2019.

Forensic and police experts examine the site of the fire in the Escape Room in Koszalin, northern Poland, on Jan. 5, 2019.

Forensic and police experts examine the site of the fire in the Escape Room in Koszalin, northern Poland, on Jan. 5, 2019.

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Over the past five years, entertainment venues called escape rooms have been gaining popularity all around the world, especially in Poland. In escape rooms, a group of friends are locked inside a room and have to find clues together in order to escape.

All escape rooms are supposed to have safety precautions, such as evacuation plans and escape routes. In addition, Koszalin fire brigade officer Tomasz Kubiak explained that “there should be a moderator in each location able to unlock the rooms and let people out.”

However, in an escape room in Poland, these safety precautions were not in place. When five fifteen-year-old girls went into an escape room in a private house in Koszalin, Poland to celebrate one girl’s birthday, they never left. The girls were locked inside a room with no emergency evacuation route when a fire started, killing all five of the girls and injuring a 28-year-old man who was employed there.

Investigators in Poland claim the fire was started by a gas leak in the heating system of the escape room. An autopsy revealed that the girls died from carbon monoxide inhalation. The man who ran the escape room, suspect Miolsz S., was charged with “deliberately creating the danger of a fire in the escape room” and “unintentionally causing the death of people in a fire.” If he is convicted, he can face up to eight years in prison.

Polish President Andrzej Duda tweeted that the fire was an “appalling tragedy.” He wrote, “Five joyful girls starting out in life have had life torn away from them. May God protect their parents and loved ones.”

Since this incident, the Interior Ministry reported that officials are going through with more thorough safety inspections of about 1,100 escape rooms in Poland, and 53 escape rooms have already been ordered to close.

A police car leading hundreds of residents walking to the cemetery to take part in the burial of five girls who died in an entertainment escape room fire last week, in Koszalin.

The city organized the funeral for the girls. Two white coffins and three heart-shaped urns with the girls’ photos beside them were placed before an altar during the funeral at St. Casimir’s Church. Hundreds of people attended, some inside the church and some outside watching on a screen. The five friends, Julia, Amelia, Gosia, Karolina, and Wiktoria, were buried together at a cemetery in Koszalin. As they were buried, a song that one of them wrote and recorded was played. Hundreds of residents of the city placed white roses on their graves.

Rev. Wojciech Pawlak, the girls’ religion teacher, celebrated their friendship, stating that in “their friendship they were and will remain together. They were together when their lives were ending, they are together here and they will rest together in the cemetery. Forever.”