VIENNA, Austria – A fire tore through a building in southern Austria housing African asylum seekers early Thursday, prompting one immigrant to leap to his death, authorities said. Nineteen others were injured, three seriously.
The blaze broke out around 7 a.m. and took firefighters two hours to extinguish, police in the southern city of Klagenfurt said.
Several people jumped from a second-floor window to escape the flames, with one suffering fatal head injuries and later dying at a hospital, police said.
Those critically injured sustained broken bones after jumping from the top floor of the two-story structure. Others were treated for minor burns and smoke inhalation, reports said.
The cause of the fire was under investigation, but there was nothing to suggest arson, authorities said.
The victims' nationalities were not immediately available but officials said all the residents were asylum seekers from Africa. They said 37 people were being housed there temporarily.
Klagenfurt is one of the venues for the European soccer championships co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland. Rescue crews were on the scene within minutes because of emergency plans drawn up for the tournament, police said.