Seven die in Serbia cafe fire

( dpa )- Seven people were killed and three seriously injured on Sunday when a fire gutted a cafe in the Serbian city of Novi Sad, police said.

The balze erupted at 2 am in the Lounge cafe, which was located on the first floor of an old building in the downtown part of Serbia's second-largest city, 80 kilometres northwest of Belgrade.

One of the three hospitalized customers was in a critical condition, hospital sources said. Firefighters arrived at the scene within minutes, but could only gain access to the cafe through a narrow stairwell, its walls adorned with inflammable textiles, witness said.

Firemen needed 40 minutes to put out the blaze.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, but people who had visited the place earlier said it was only a "matter of time" before disaster struck.

"When it was crowded, with all the cigarette-lighting and shuolder-rubbing below those furry carpets hanging on the walls it was only a matter of time before something like this happened," one patron who left before the blaze broke out told radio B92. dpa bb ms

Three of the injured customers were hospitalized in serious condition, the reports said. The cause of the fire was under investigation. dpa bb ms

170817 GMT Feb 08 Novi Sad -- Sedam osoba je izgubilo ?ivot a tri su te?e povredene u po?aru koji je jutros oko 2 sata izbio u kaficu "Laund?" u Novom Sadu.

Kako je rekao nacelnik Sektora MUP-a za za?titu i spasavanje Predrag Maric za B92, po?ar je lokalizovan a troje povredenih je sme?teno u bolnicu i u te?kom su stanju. De?urni istra?ni sudija Op?tinskog suda u Novom Sadu Koviljka ?acic kazala je da je uvidaj u toku i da ce u toku dana biti poznati uzroci po?ara.

"Jutros oko 2 sata izbio je po?ar u kaficu 'Laund?' u Zmaj Jovinoj broj 10 u Novom Sadu. Dojava o po?aru je primljena u 2.05. Pripadnici vatrogasne brigade Novi Sad iza?li su za minut i 30 sekundi na lice mesta. Akcija lokalizovanja i ga?enja je trajala oko 40 minuta", rekao je Maric. "Za sada mo?emo da ka?emo da je ?ivot izgubilo sedam osoba, da je troje te?ko povredeno i da su medicinski zbrinuti u bolnici u Novom Sadu. Ono ?to sigurno mo?emo da tvrdimo je da ovakva tragedija nije zabele?ena poslednjih nekoliko godina. Istraga ce utvrditi pravi uzrok po?ara. Ocekujemo da se sa uvidajem pocne vec u toku prepodneva", rekao je Maric za B92. De?urni lekar Klinickog centra Vojvodine Sava ?ermanov je izjavio agenciji Beta da su troje povredenih zadobili veoma ozbiljne povrede, a da je jedan od njih "u neposrednoj ?ivotnoj opasnosti". Kako javlja izve?tac B92, kafic se nalazi u samom centru Novog Sada u jednom od pasa?a kod Zmaj Jovine ulice, pasa? je zatvoren sa obe strane jer su postavljene policijske trake. Sa ulice se mo?e uociti da jo? uvek ima malo dima, a kroz prozore se naziru nagorele grede i cigle. Bio sam sinoc tamo i, srecom, otisao oko 22:00. Pozar je verovatno izbio zbog toga sto se iz drugog dela kafica vrlo tesko izlazi, jer do njega vodi strmo stepeniste na cijim zidovima su jambolije (pretpostavljam da su se one zapalile).

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