Hostel fire kills 21 in Poland

Fire ripped through a homeless hostel in Poland today killing at least 21 people and injuring 20 more.

The blaze broke out around 1am in Kamien Pomorski, near the Baltic Sea coast.

Polish television showed the charred, gutted shell of the building surrounded by fire engines.

There were 77 people registered as residents in the building at the time of the blaze. Firefighters said not all were yet accounted for, and that the death toll could rise.

The injured, many of whom suffered broken bones after jumping out of windows on the upper floors to escape the blaze, were taken to local hospitals.

Two people were being treated for burns, including an eight-month-old baby.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk flew to Kamien Pomorski to inspect the damage, and promised aid for those who survived the blaze.

President Lech Kaczynski declared three days of national morning to start at midnight, and was also on his way to Kamien Pomorski.

It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze, but police and fire investigators were on the scene.


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