In Austria, twenty-six people died on Friday (28 September) when fire raced through a Vienna hotel crowded with American and Yugoslav tourists.
In Austria, twenty-six people died on Friday (28 September) when fire raced through a Vienna hotel crowded with American and Yugoslav tourists. The blaze was Vienna's worst in more than thirty years.
SYNOPSIS: The guests at Vienna's "Am Augarten" Hotel were asleep around dawn when fire broke out on the ground floor. The blaze raced up the stairs and the lift shaft with deadly speed, cutting off escape routes and filling the hotel with lethal fames from burning linoleum. Thirty-four Americans on a package tour from Maine and a group of twenty Yugoslavs were among the guests.
Many guests escaped by scrambling over the hotel roof while others were rescued by firefighters on ladders. The fire was under control within an hour, but by that time 26 people were dead. They included a young American woman who died of a fractured skull after she had jumped from a fourth-floor window.
Identification of the victims has been hampered by the death of the hotel porter and the destruction of the hotel's register. Ten of the Yugoslavs are feared dead and officials are checking on individual tourists from Italy, West Germany and Switzerland.