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Romanian authorities search for missing persons as guesthouse fire death toll rises

A guesthouse on fire in Tohani, Romania.
A guesthouse on fire in Tohani, Romania. Copyright Romanian Emergency Services - ISU Prahova via AP
Copyright Romanian Emergency Services - ISU Prahova via AP
By Euronews with AP
Published on
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Many of the destroyed building's 26 guests are still missing.

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The death toll from a massive fire that tore through a Romanian guesthouse on Tuesday morning has risen to seven, including at least two children, according to authorities.

The General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations says 26 people were staying at the guesthouse in the village of Tohani in Prahova county.

Photos of the aftermath of the blaze in local media showed the charred remains of the sprawling building as emergency workers searched through the rubble.

On Wednesday morning, authorities confirmed the death of a second child and said the search for missing persons was ongoing, but did not specify how many people were still missing.

In this photo released by the Romanian Emergency Services Prahova (ISU Prahova), a guesthouse is in flames, in Tohani, Romania, Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2023.
In this photo released by the Romanian Emergency Services Prahova (ISU Prahova), a guesthouse is in flames, in Tohani, Romania, Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2023.AP/AP

Before authorities confirmed the fourth and fifth fatalities around noon on Tuesday, search and rescue teams had been set up to find five missing persons. 

It wasn't immediately clear if the dead were among those listed as missing.

There was no immediate indication as to what caused the fire, which was extinguished on Tuesday shortly after noon.

The emergency directorate said the directorate's head, Raed Arafat, ordered a preliminary report to investigate what checks had been carried out at the guesthouse to help determine who was responsible for the tragedy.

In the immediate aftermath of the fire, authorities said 18 people had managed to escape and that two of them were being treated for burns.

The affected area spans about 1,000 square metres.

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