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Poland seeks suspect in concert fire

WARSAW, Nov. 25 -- Polish police said Friday arson is the suspected cause of a fire at a rock concert in the Baltic seaport of Gdansk that killed three persons and hospitalized more than 200 others with burns. Police were seeking a man between 17 and 19 who was described by witnesses as having thrown a Molotov cocktail, and Polish television broadcast a composite sketch of the suspect.

The blaze broke out Thursday night during a performance before 1,500 fans of a Polish rock group called 'Golden Life' at the Gdansk shipyard, and quickly spread through the concert hall. Two persons died in the blaze and a third died during the day of injuries. Four were listed in critical condition, and another 29 were listed as serious at local hospitals. 'The wooden benches in the audience and the wooden roof structure caught fire almost at the same time,' the news agency PAP said. The roof subsequently collapsed into the arena. Many of the fans panicked at the outbreak of the blaze and rushed to the exit doors, some of which were padlocked. A total of 24 firefighting units took part in the rescue action, which was completed at midnight. Gdansk authorities have declared Sunday a day of mourning for the victims.

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