Man killed in blaze at illegal house party
15 November 2004 , AMSTERDAM — The organiser of an illegal house party in the Dutch capital has been arrested and charged with culpable homicide following the death Sunday of a 27-year-old Amsterdam man in a warehouse fire.
15 November 2004
AMSTERDAM — The organiser of an illegal house party in the Dutch capital has been arrested and charged with culpable homicide following the death Sunday of a 27-year-old Amsterdam man in a warehouse fire.
The 30-year-old man who organised the event also faces en enormous damages bill resulting from the blaze, which erupted at about 8am on Sunday in a part of warehouse used by squatters. A further six people were treated in hospital for burns and breathing difficulties.
Police have launched an investigation into the Amsterdam East fire and while arson was not initially suspected as the cause of the fire, the possibility has not been ruled out either, newspaper Het Parool reported Monday.
Authorities had previously shut down three parties at the squatted premises, the last such raid taking place in June. Residents and business have regularly complained about the squatters.
But police said they cannot simply eject the squatters, asserting that a civil procedure is currently in progress. Police intensified surveillance in response to the complaints, but claim they had not detected loud music.
Ten or so squatters have been living in the warehouse for the past two years and a few hundred partygoers were in attendance when the fire broke out.
A witness has claimed the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit in a stereo system, while another said a cigarette or tea-warmer led to the fire. The exact cause of the blaze is still under investigation.
Panic erupted soon after the fire broke out because partygoers were unable to escape through the locked front door. They then crammed through a small door in the front roller door, while several others exited through a toilet window. Windows were also smashed open.
The owner of the premises, broadcast company NOB, had previously started legal proceedings to evict the squatters. It lodged a complaint in May 2004 against the squatters and has denied responsibility for the blaze.
The renter of the premises, EFF — a company that leases studios, cameras and lighting equipment — is demanding the organiser of the party pay damages.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news