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Topoľčany blast kills one and injures five

A BLAST at the Euromont TO factory in Topoľčany, in which five people were injured and one killed on August 25, was triggered by explosives, according to Slovakia’s Police President Ján Packa.

A BLAST at the Euromont TO factory in Topoľčany, in which five people were injured and one killed on August 25, was triggered by explosives, according to Slovakia’s Police President Ján Packa.

The explosives were brought to the company site by an unknown man who was killed in the explosion. He walked into the company shortly before noon, said he wanted to order plastic windows and doors and then turned to leave, having placed a small package on the counter. The package exploded seconds later, killing the man and injuring another five people who were nearby, the Sme daily reported.

The pressure wave shattered all the windows in the building and the factory itself caught fire. Early reports that the cause had been a natural gas explosion were immediately ruled out. According to Sme, Packa also ruled out speculation that the incident occurred because of disputes between rival mafia groups.

The police are now investigating two possible versions of the reasons for the man’s actions. First, they said, it might have been revenge or an attempt to blackmail the Mišenko family, who own the company. Packa said the family is ‘known to the police’, but he added that “coming to the company with an explosive during the day rather betrays a total madman”, which is the second possible motive the police are investigating, Sme reported.

The man’s identity was at first unknown to people who interacted with him, who said only that they thought he was Slovak but not a local, the TASR newswire reported. Because of the effect of the explosion, identifying him was very complicated.

But the day after the explosion he was named as Peter H., a 36-year-old man from Veľké Ripňany, a village close to Topoľčany.

“The motive and other circumstances of this case are still subject to investigation,” police spokesperson Martin Korch told the SITA newswire.

Two people suffered severe injuries. One of them, a woman who suffered burns to 30 percent of her body, was transported to Nitra hospital. Her legs were badly injured and she has already had surgery. As The Slovak Spectator went to press she remained in a medically-induced coma.

Sme quoted a high-ranking police officer as saying that the explosion might be connected with the kidnapping of businessman Jozef Mišenko in 2008. He is the brother of Daniel Mišenko, a co-owner of Euromont TO.

Jozef Mišenko is known in Topoľčany as a businessman with an allegedly murky past, Sme reported, ading that in 2005 he was accused of blackmail and that he is currently incarcerated for financial crimes.

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