Polish experts seek evidence in gas blast that killed 8

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Investigators in southern Poland said Friday they are questioning witnesses and gathering evidence in their probe into a gas blast that killed eight members of one family, including four children.

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Spokeswoman for regional prosecutors Agnieszka Michulec said they suspect damage to a local pipeline during works led to a gas leak, a blast and a fire that destroyed the family's house in the popular mountain resort of Szczyrk on Wednesday.

Michulec, of the prosecutor's office in Bielsko-Biala, said experts were using a special camera and ground-penetrating radar to check the pipeline and the blast site.

“Step by step we are putting the facts together as we try to determine what led to this disaster,” Michulec said.

She said autopsies are planned for early next week to determine the exact cause of death of three generations of the family of ski instructors.

The victims were identified as Jozef K. and his wife Jolanta, both aged 60, their grandson Szymon, aged 10, their nephew Wojciech K., 39, his 38-year-old wife Anna and three children aged 10, 6 and 3.

A water company that was carrying out works using a robot near their house on the day of the blast denied in a statement that its activity could have caused the explosion. But it stressed the difficulty of working in the densely built-up area with plenty of pipelines and wires running under the surface.