Pellegrini to Allocate €1 Mn to Presov in Relief Effort Over Gas Explosion

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Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (L), Health Minister Andrea Kalavska in the background and Interior Minister Denisa Sakova talk to journalists in front of an apartment building on fire in the wake of gas explosion on December 6, 2019 (photo by TASR)

Presov, December 6 (TASR) – The city of Presov will receive one million euros from the Prime Minister’s Reserve Fund to help it deal with the aftermath of the gas explosion tragedy in an apartment building, Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini announced after a session of the crisis team on late Friday.

The gas explosion claimed at least five lives and left more than 40 injured, reported the Fire-fighter and Emergency Corps Presidium earlier in the day. The explosion took place around noon in one of the flats in a twelve-storey building and there’s a danger that the building might collapse. Presov Mayor Andrea Turcanova declared a state of emergency in Presov since 12.35 P.M.

The tally of victims who perished in the gas explosion at an apartment block in Presov might not be definitive yet, as the upper floors are still on fire and firefighters have no way to gain access up there, stated Pellegrini.

“An enormous problem is posed by the collapsed staircase in the building. Firefighters have no other way to get into the flats than from outside and that’s why, sadly, no one can say the final number of those, who lost their lives in this great tragedy,” said Pellegrini. He sent his sympathies to the bereaved.

The Prime Minister promised that Government will provide aid to the city of Presov and the affected people.

Rescuers, firefighters and military still have their hands busy dealing with the aftermath of the explosion and in the meantime inhabitants of nearby buildings were evacuated from their homes as well.

Interior Minister Denisa Sakova claimed that more than 50 pieces of firefighter and rescue equipment have been despatched, with more than 100 police officers in action. Sakova underlined that the mission is challenging, as firefighters can’t reach upper-level flats due to the collapsed staircase and there were also issues with extending an aerial platform.

Sakova said that a likely cause of the tragedy was the explosion of gas on the building’s ninth floor.