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Katowice. The prosecutor’s office is looking for witnesses to a gas explosion in the presbytery in Szopienice. They are visible on surveillance footage

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45 witnesses were questioned in the case of a construction disaster in Katowice-Szopienice. As a result of the gas explosion and the collapse of the presbytery of the Evangelical parish, two people died and three were injured, including two children. The suspect in this case is the husband and father of the deceased. The prosecutor’s office is looking for people who are visible in the recordings of the disaster.

“Police officers from the Criminal Department of the Provincial Police Headquarters in Katowice are still explaining the circumstances of the gas explosion in the building at Bednorza Street in Katowice. As a result of the incident that took place on January 27, two women died. Law enforcement officers are asking for contact from people who were passing by on that day after 8.00 next to the tenement house” – we read in the Silesian police release.

– On the monitoring recordings, which are a lot, you can see that there were people in the vicinity of the building at the time of the explosion who have not yet been questioned, and the prosecutor’s office would like to have full, as wide evidence as possible, hence this message – an appeal to people to come forward – explains Aleksander Duda from the press team of the District Prosecutor’s Office in Katowice, which is investigating the case

He adds that potential witnesses during the interrogation may obtain the status of victims if they suffered some harm while being near the building at the time of the disaster.

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The effects of a gas explosion in a three-story tenement house in Katowice – photo from January 2023.Silesian Police

The prosecutor’s office questioned 45 people and is looking for more witnesses

So far, the prosecutor’s office has questioned 45 witnesses, including residents of nearby houses and passers-by, people who saw or heard the moment of the explosion. Other people are scheduled for questioning. – Their observations are important, everyone notices something different. The testimony of every person who will help to determine what the facts were is important – emphasizes Duda.

Five people were considered injured: two women who died in the crash and a woman and her two daughters who were hospitalized with injuries. They were all residents of the destroyed building.

One person was charged with causing the disaster. He is the husband and father of the victims of the incident. According to the prosecutor, the man has not pleaded guilty to this day.

The prosecutor’s office is waiting for an opinion in the field of the gas industry and an opinion of the forensic medicine department regarding the victims’ injuries.

The street where the explosion occurred TVN24

An explosion in the parsonage

The explosion and collapse of the presbytery occurred on the morning of Friday, January 27. Nine people lived in the building, including the parish priest’s and the vicar’s families. In an interview with us, both of them said that on that day the building smelled of gas from the early hours of the morning.

The vicar turned off the gas valve, opened the windows, ventilated the building, and notified all residents. They were getting ready to leave the building. Unfortunately, they didn’t make it.

The vicar’s children – girls aged three and five – were taken to the hospital.

READ: Construction disaster in Katowice. There had been a conflict in the rectory for years between the parish and one of the families

Two victims

A woman and her adult daughter, residents of the presbytery, died in the catastrophe. Their husband and father, a 75-year-old man, was taken to the Burn Center in Siemianowice Śląskie. He was seriously injured and spent many days in the hospital. He is the one suspected of causing the disaster.

– The man was introduced the allegation of bringing the immediate danger of the event threatening property of great size and the lives and health of many people in the form of an explosion of natural gas in a building at Bednorza Street in Katowice, and then leading to this explosion, as a result of which the building partially collapsed, two people lost their lives and three others were injured bodies – said prosecutor Duda in March.

The suspect did not admit to committing the act, he made explanations, which – as the prosecutor’s office points out – are partially consistent with the findings of the investigation. The offense is punishable by six months to eight years in prison. The man is in custody.

New facts about the construction disaster in KatowiceTVN24

Main photo source: TVN24



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