Czech morning news in brief: Top headlines for September 17, 2021

Damaged gas pipeline responsible for tragedy in Koryčany, Amazon to build another Czech distribution center, Czech chemists in major breakthrough.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff
Published on 17.09.2021 09:47 (updated on 17.09.2021)

Damaged gas pipeline behind fatal Koryčany explosion

The owners of the terraced family home which exploded in Koryčany near Kroměříž were reconstructing their house when a gas pipeline became damaged during the works, a police spokesperson has announced. The damaged pipeline was responsible for the blast which claimed the lives of two volunteer firefighters and injured four other people. Firefighters are still searching through the debris of the house to make sure that nobody else is trapped inside.

The owner of the house secured the house and called a gas technician as soon as he noticed the leak. Minutes after firefighters arrived, the house exploded. Police say that according to a structural analyst, houses and other structures nearby are no longer habitable. An improvised memorial spot for flowers and candles has been created on the side of the road opposite the house.

Amazon to build another distribution center in the Czech Republic

Amazon will build another distribution center in the Czech Republic, located near Kojetín in the Kroměříž region. The site, which will make use of robotic technology, will employ around 2,000 people. The new center will enhance the U.S. giant’s presence in the Czech Republic, adding to its distribution center in Dobrovíz, near Prague. Amazon said the new center will be the first fully multi-story logistics building in the Czech Republic, using the most modern technology.

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The Kojetín location will provide access to the D1 highway, will have four floors and a total floor area of 190,000 square meters. The site will mostly be located on a brownfield site which used to house sugar factories, although it is thought some surrounding arable land will also be affected.

Czech chemists make internationally significant breakthrough

Chemists from Pardubice University and colleagues from the Czech Academy of Sciences have become the first in the world to succeed in creating positively charges carboranes, thus defying the normal rules of chemistry, a spokesperson for Pardubice University has announced.

“For decades, chemists have been seeking these kinds of compounds and many thought they were completely out of reach,” the head of the research group said, adding that their creation denies “all regular chemical processes and logic.” The compounds of boron, hydrogen and carbon have unique qualities which will be subjected to further study. It is thought they could be used for malignant tumor treatment and in creating new types of materials.

Prague Airport to lose hundreds of millions of crowns this year

Estimates suggest that Prague Airport will handle around four million passengers this year and that the airport will close the year with a loss of hundreds of millions of crowns. The resumption of traffic at Václav Havel Airport is slower than in some comparable airports in Europe, such as Vienna and Warsaw. The new head of the airport said results this year are likely to be similar to last year, when the airport recorded losses of CZK 687 million.

Traffic has grown during the summer: in August, the airport handled almost 700,000 passengers, double the number seen in the same month last year. The summer months also saw the airport starting to make profits again for the first time this year. Current projections are based on the assumption that passenger numbers will slump again this October.

Foreign Ministry awards 11 for promoting the Czech Republic abroad

This year’s Gratias Agit Awards for promoting the Czech Republic abroad have been bestowed on 11 Czech and foreign personalities. Two of the recipients received their awards in person at the Czech embassy, while the rest will pick up their honors at their local embassies due to the Covid pandemic.

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Czech-born choreographers and dancers Jiří Kylián and Ivan Liška received their awards from Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek, while other awards will go to a range of international figures. These include Dana Bartáková, who founded a school and kindergarten in Bamako, the capital city of Mali, Michael Beckerman, a professor of music science in Germany, and Tora Hedin, a lecturer in Czech language and literature at Stockholm University and a translator of Czech literature. The Czech Foreign Ministry has presented Gratias Agit awards annually since 1997 to people promoting the good name of the Czech Republic abroad.

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