Two dead, several hurt in Prague hotel fire

Firefighters and rescuers work at the scene of a hotel fire in downtown Prague on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. Czech officials say a hotel fire in downtown Prague has killed at least two people. (AP)
Updated 20 January 2018
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Two dead, several hurt in Prague hotel fire

PRAGUE: Two people died and nine were injured in a fire at a hotel in the center of Prague on Saturday night, fire and rescue officials said.
The fire occurred at Eurostars David Hotel, a block away from the Vltava River and near the Czech capital’s National Theatre.
Of those hurt, five people were seriously injured, the Prague Emergency Medical Service said.
“Unfortunately we were not able to help two people,” the EMS said on its Twitter.
No other details on the victims were given.
Seznam Zpravy news website reported the hotel has 152 beds.
Rescue officials had earlier said 40 were injured, although Czech media reported that most were treated for smoke inhalation on the spot and not taken to hospital.
The cause of the fire was not clear.


Indian court gives life sentence to guru, 14 followers

Updated 54 min 17 sec ago
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Indian court gives life sentence to guru, 14 followers

  • Sant Rampal was arrested in 2014 following a days-long standoff between law enforcers and his supporters
  • The court is expected to announce sentences in the death of a fifth woman on Wednesday
HISAR, India: A court in northern India sentenced a Hindu guru and 14 followers to life imprisonment on Tuesday in the deaths of four women and a child at his sprawling ashram.
The court ordered the penalty for Sant Rampal in Hisar city in Haryana state, where authorities deployed hundreds of riot police in anticipation of violence by the guru’s thousands of disciples in response to his sentencing.
Rampal, 67, was arrested in 2014 following a days-long standoff between law enforcers and his supporters in which six people died and hundreds were injured. At the time, Rampal was wanted for questioning in a 2006 murder case and had repeatedly ignored orders to appear in court.
Rampal and the 14 followers were accused by police of holding the four women and child captive inside the ashram, resulting in their deaths from a lack of food and medicine as the fierce standoff continued.
The court is expected to announce sentences in the death of a fifth woman on Wednesday.
Hindu gurus and holy men are immensely popular in India, with millions of followers. People often consult gurus before making important personal decisions. But the enormous power wielded by some has led to scandals in which they have been accused of exploiting devotees.