Krakow's sublime nightlife has been dealt a heavy blow recently as the stairs of a popular nightspot collapsed at 2.30 a.m. on Sunday, 6th November. At least 12 people are known to have been injured and 2,000 evacuated from Kitsch club in Wielopole St, located in the heart of Krakow. The tenement building also included two more frequented night clubs and discos: Caryca and Lubu Dubu that night werereported to be even more overcrowded than usual, to the point of guests not being able to move.
Witnesses say, an ad hoc evacuation way was arranged through a neighbouring flat's kitchen and another flats narrow staircase. Many patrons were unhappy with
the way that the evacuation was carried out, and many witnesses reported that should a fire have broken out, many lives would have certainly been lost.
The initial inspection found that the stairs were in very poor structural condition, as was the entire building, which has now been closed off. As the Krakow Construction Supervision claim, the tenement house was never fit for public utility purposes and have forbidden future discos being held in the building. The buidlings structure is reported to have been weakened by drills made to install anti-slipping installation. Also, the floor on the 3rd level is supposed to have
collapsed some time ago, but all damages were secretly repaired unofficially and the issue was never reported.
It is believed, Kitsch's owner was using a legal loophole to keep the club running, and yet he managed to open a new club last September. A representative of CCS, Malgorzata Boryczko, launched an announcement on the disaster, informing that legal proceedings are pending at Voivodship Administrative Court, and under Polish law it is the building’s owner who is liable for the poor condition of the building and subsequent related damages.
The KCS has made an attempt to control the building before hand, but it did not succeed. The prosecutor's office was then only notified of the impossibility of carrying out such a control and the case was dismissed. The KCS then unwisely decided not press on further with the prosecutor's assistance in conducting their professional duties. Oddly enough, according to construction law, a building in bad technical condition may be lawfully closed down only after a construction disaster happens.
The injured patrons have already been discharged from their hospital beds and perhaps unsurprisingly the owner is said to be currently staying in the USA, making it difficult for local police to contact and interview him. Police have stated that if he is found liable, he would be facing up to 10 years in prison and have asked for witnesses to come forward and report any relevant information they may have to their local police station.