Man killed in blaze at illegal house party in Amsterdam

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Author: lurk
Date: Nov 25, 2004
Views: 3807

This happened at a psytrance party in Amsterdam at the weekend...

Man killed in blaze at illegal house party

15 November 2004

AMSTERDAM — The organiser of an illegal house party in the Dutch capital has been arrested and charged with culpable homicide following the death Sunday of a 27-year-old Amsterdam man in a warehouse fire.

The 30-year-old man who organised the event also faces en enormous damages bill resulting from the blaze, which erupted at about 8am on Sunday in a part of warehouse used by squatters. A further six people were treated in hospital for burns and breathing difficulties.

Police have launched an investigation into the Amsterdam East fire and while arson was not initially suspected as the cause of the fire, the possibility has not been ruled out either, newspaper Het Parool

reported Monday.

Authorities had previously shut down three parties at the squatted premises, the last such raid taking place in June. Residents and business have regularly complained about the squatters.

But police said they cannot simply eject the squatters, asserting that a civil procedure is currently in progress. Police intensified surveillance in response to the complaints, but claim they had not detected loud music.

Ten or so squatters have been living in the warehouse for the past two years and a few hundred partygoers were in attendance when the fire broke out.

A witness has claimed the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit in a stereo system, while another said a cigarette or tea-warmer led to the fire. The exact cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

Panic erupted soon after the fire broke out because partygoers were unable to escape through the locked front door. They then crammed through a small door in the front roller door, while several others exited through a toilet window. Windows were also smashed open.

The owner of the premises, broadcast company NOB, had previously started legal proceedings to evict the squatters. It lodged a complaint in May 2004 against the squatters and has denied responsibility for the blaze.

The renter of the premises, EFF — a company that leases studios, cameras and lighting equipment — is demanding the organiser of the party pay damages.

(taken from expatica.com)

Apart from the tragic loss of life, the guy they arrested faces these terrible charges and an estimated 2 million euro law suit. From what I have heard, he wasn\'t even the organiser of the party.
As well as this (although secondary to everything else) it is a huge blow to the psytrance scene in Amsterdam. Few legal venues will have anything to do with our type of music, and this sort of party was how the scene has existed for years.

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