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Around Slovakia

Wind takes life, fallen trees block roads
Mumified heart found in wall
Butter labels buy computers
Accused murderer says victim fell on knife
Packet of ivory seized
Man attempts suicide by fire
Boy jumps to death


A BUS shelter was blown away.
photo: TASR

Slovakia
Wind takes life, fallen trees block roads

A MASSIVE gale coming from western Europe struck the central European region, taking one life and causing extensive material damage in Slovakia.
An electrician died October 28 when a tree fell on a cable car in the High Tatras' Tatranská Lomnica. The man was sitting inside being lifted to his place of work.
All over the country, fallen trees, damaged roofs, blocked roads and electricity blackouts have troubled the locals.
Several buildings were damaged in the northern Slovak district of Žilina, while a more serious situation developed in nearby Ružomberok. More than 20 trees fell down near the town, blocking the road to one village, and a tin roof measuring 35 square metres was ripped off the local fire station.
The village of Vrícko near the central Slovak town of Martin was cut off from electricity after a tree fell on electricity lines in the morning of October 28.
Trees also blocked roads leading to and from the central Slovak village Čierny Balog.
Hydrometeorologists in the country's Tatras mountain range said they recorded a wind velocity of 166 kilometres per hour at the Chopok mountain peak.
Štefan Soták from the hydrometeorological institute in Banská Bystrica told the TASR news agency that the fastest wind that ever struck Chopok was almost 200 kilometres per hour in 1968.
Winds in the Žilina region reached between 94 and 105 kilometres per hour. Other stations recorded lower velocities of between 75 and 80 kilometres per hour.
In Bratislava the wind blew at 93.6 kilometres per hour on October 28.


Svätý Anton
Mumified heart found in wall

RESTORATION workers found a mummified heart estimated to be hundreds of years old in a chapel in Svätý Anton.
The heart was found in a wooden box nestled in a heap of sawdust that had been built into a wall at the back of the chapel. Experts estimate that the heart is about 250 years old and comes from a human being, but tests must be carried out before any conclusions can be drawn.
"I can't describe that feeling. Not even a discovery of a bag full of golden coins would beat it. They simply called me onto scene and I was suddenly looking at something that was alive a long time ago," said local museum expert Oľga Kuchtová.
The discovery is not unique, as some years ago a bull's heart was discovered in a wall in the chapel of Modrý Kameň's castle.
However, historians say the Svätý Anton heart probably belonged to a human, because some gentry used to bury the hearts of their deceased separately from the rest of the body, particularly during the Baroque period.
Construction of the Svätý Anton manor house to which the chapel is attached started in the first half of the 18th century by the Kohary and the Coburg noble families.


Špania Dolina
Butter labels buy computers

SLOVAKIA's smallest elementary school, which has just five pupils, won Sk130,000 ($3,100) worth of computers in a competition that required participants to collect butter labels.
The principal of the elementary school ZŠ Jozefa Mistríka in the High Tatras' Špania Dolina said the win has saved her school from financial ruin.
"I can't believe it. We joined the butter label competition out of despair because of our bad financial situation. But we never expected to win this much," said Principal Danica Glosová.
Last week the representatives of the Czech firm that produces the butter handed over the cheque that authorizes Glosová's school to go computer shopping.


Trnava
Accused murderer says victim fell on knife

A MAN charged with murdering his brother with a kitchen knife has told a court that his brother "fell on the knife by himself".
The accused, Michal V. from Trnava, said October 24 that he had been eating his dinner and holding the knife in his hand when his brother, Mário Vido, suddenly fell over onto the knife, giving himself a 14-centimetre-deep lethal cut in the left side of his chest.
The alleged murder took place April 27, when prosecutors believe Michal V. attacked and killed his brother following a verbal fight.


Lučenec
Packet of ivory seized

CUSTOMS officers have seized a package containing 178 kilograms of ivory that was sent to a Slovak citizen by an unknown sender in Zimbabwe.
The package's declared price was $780, but the real market value of the contents has been estimated at hundreds of thousands of US dollars.
Police have contacted the addressee, a man from Gbelce in the southwestern district of Nové Zámky, to question him about his plans for the precious material before they decide on any action.


Trenčín
Man attempts suicide by fire

A 54-YEAR-OLD man from Trenčín was taken to Bratislava's Ružinov hospital with serious burns to 80 per cent of his body after he tried to burn himself to death.
Police reported that the man, Emil R., spilled lighter fuel on himself and lit it following a verbal fight with his mother and siblings. While he was burning, he came out of the flat. The fire was put out by neighbors and his family in the hallway.
When the ambulance came, Emil R. was still conscious despite the severe burns, said one firefighter.
Neighbors told the police that this was the third time Emil R. had attempted to commit suicide. In the previous attempts he had tried to jump out of a window.


Žilina
Boy jumps to death

FOR UNKNOWN reasons, a 15-year-old boy jumped from the 13th floor of a block of flats on a Solinky housing estate in the northern town of Žilina.
A neighbor found the dead body of Andrej S. on the pavement in front of the block of flats on October 27 as she was walking her dog.
Police are investigating the circumstances of the tragedy, but suspect the young man committed suicide.

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