Hopes are fading fast for the chances of survival for those still trapped in the collapsed exhibition hall in Chorzow, Poland. The latest death toll in the accident stands at 65, and the authorities fear this figure could rise.
Between 400-500 people are thought to have been inside when the roof collapsed from the weight of snow packed on the roof. Around 140 have been brought out injured, many of them children, so there could still be many people trapped inside in sub-zero temperatures. Chorzow is in the Katowice conurbation in southern Poland, and this weekend was hosting one of Europe’s biggest pigeon shows for fanciers from all over the continent. The Polish prime minister, Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, visited the disaster area, and declared Sunday as a day of national mourning. He offered his condolences, and promised all the necessary aid to the families effected. All through the night rescuers have fought to get survivors out of the wreckage, blowing hot air into the remains of the building in an effort to keep those inside alive until they can be reached. But since early this morning, there have been no signs of life in the ruins.The manager of the modern hall, the size of a football pitch, expressed doubts as to the cause of the tragedy. He claimed snow had been regularly cleared off the roof. It could have been much worse. One eyewitness said the hall had begun to empty when the roof fell in. An hour earlier it had been packed.