Czech morning news in brief: top headlines for July 7, 2021

Netflix production shuts down major Prague thoroughfare, Czech player heads to Wimbledon final four, chemical-plant blast leaves three injured. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 07.07.2021 09:55:00 (updated on 07.07.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Chemical plant blast in North Bohemia leaves three people injured

An explosion in the Preol biofuel plant, followed by a fire on Monday, led to several injuries a spokesman for the Usti Region Firefighting Authority told reporters Tuesday. Firefighters remain on the scene of the blast which was apparently caused by a technical flaw in the rapeseed separator. "There was a blast of highly inflammable hexane, used for rapeseed pressing. At the time of the accident, the assembly line was turned off," the fire department said. An investigation into the explosion will take place. Preol is part of the Agrofert holding, now in the trust fund of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. Agrofert says its employees observed "all directives and ordered steps." Paramedics treated four people on the spot. Three were injured, one suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to the burn center in Prague. Preol is the largest producer of biofuel in the Czech Republic; it also produces rapeseed for the food industry. No dangerous substances leaked into the air. ČTK

Czech restaurant sales 20-30 percent lower than before pandemic

According to the Association of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Tradesmen (AMSP), restaurant sales are still 20 to 30 percent lower than before the coronavirus crisis. People are returning to businesses in popular tourist places faster, and the worst hit is catering establishments in cities. According to AMSP, gastronomic operations may appear full, but don't register the same number of visitors as before the pandemic. There are still a number of restrictions in place for visiting restaurants. A maximum of four people can be seated at a table unless they are members of the same household. Tables must be spaced 1.5 meters apart. Only people who have a negative coronavirus test, are vaccinated, or have had Covid-19 in the past180 days may dine-in at restaurants. ČTK.

Czech player headed to Wimbledon semi-finals for the first time

Czech tennis player Karolína Plíšková has reached the semifinals at Wimbledon for the first time. The 29-year-old Plíšková claimed 24 of 26 points on her serve in one stretch, hitting eight aces, and saved the only three break chances she faced on the way to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Switzerland's 66th-ranked Viktorija Golubic on Tuesday at the All England Club. The Czech tennis player will challenge Belarus Aryna Sabalenka in the fight for the final on Thursday.

Roma community protests at the Czech embassy in Kosovo

The Roma community in Kosovo staged a protest march at the Czech embassy Tuesday, calling for an investigation into the death of a Roma man after police intervention in Teplice, north Bohemia, last month, Balkan Insider reports. "We express concern over the brutality of the (Czech) police and we demand the investigation into the case because the Roma in Europe deserve respect," an activist from the local NGO Roma Veritas Kosova said. Amateur video footage released by showed a Czech police officer kneeling on a Roma man's neck for several minutes while arresting him. Police have dismissed any wrongdoing, saying the man assaulted them aggressively, forcing them to use coercive means. Rescuers attempted to resuscitate the man in an ambulance. A doctor declared him dead shortly after his arrival at the hospital. The case has drawn international attention with many comparing it to the case of George Floyd, a black man who died in the U.S. after police knelt on his neck for several minutes. ČTK

Major Prague street closed down for Netflix blockbuster shoot

One of Prague’s major thoroughfares was shut down from Friday, July 3 through Tuesday, July 6 for production on The Gray Man, a $200 million Netflix blockbuster starring Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling shooting in the Czech capital through July 20, The Prague Reporter writes. Dukelských hrdinů, which runs through the middle of Prague 7 into the city center was blocked off to all traffic for about six blocks from Strossmayerovo náměstí to the Výstaviště exhibition grounds. The scene will be one of the central action sequences of the film which features a rogue CIA agent (played by Gosling) on the run from his former employers, led by Evans’ character. Outdoor locations in Prague 1, 2, 3, 7, and 8 will be utilized during the production of the film.

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