After the shock and the tears come the recriminations. Poland is in mourning for the 67 people who died in the Chorzow exhibition hall collapse, but the court in Katowice conducting the inquiry is starting to reveal some disturbing details.
It has been discovered that several emergency exits had been blocked, although at this stage it is not known if they were locked, or had been closed off by the heavy snowfall that brought down the roof. One man, reading about the accident in a newspaper, said the region had suffered accidents in coal mines in the past, but never such a tragedy with so many victims. Experts have begun to question whether it was wise to build such a structure in a region known to be snow-bound in winter. Police are looking for 15 people still reported missing, and the owners of 20 cars that are still in the hall’s carpark. On Monday workers could be seen clearing snow from nearby buildings, and all over Poland similar teams are trying to prevent another accident. The building’s owners continue to maintain they were regularly clearing snow from the roof, but this claim is being contested by eyewitnesses.