Fire kills 8 at asylum for mentally ill in Czech Republic

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PRAGUE (AP) – A fire official says eight people have been killed in a fire at an asylum for the mentally ill in the Czech Republic.

Prokop Volenik, spokesman for the regional rescue service, said the fire in the northwestern town of Vejprty broke out early Sunday before 5 a.m. (0400 GMT). The town is on the border with Germany.

German rescuers came to help their Czech colleagues who were not able to use helicopters due to bad weather.

Volenik said, in addition to the deaths, 30 others were injured by the blaze. One of them is in critical condition. The injured were transported to nearby hospitals.

Firefighter spokesman Michal Zavoral said the blaze was contained and the cause was being investigated.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis offered his condolences to the families of those who died.

Firefighters stand in front of a house, where eight people with mental and combined impairment were died and another three were seriously injured in the fire on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Vejprty, Czech Republic. (Slavomir Kubes/CTK via AP) ** SLOVAKIA OUT **
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