The final two victims of the Czech Republic’s worst train crash in 13 years have been identified. Of a total of seven people killed in Friday’s crash near the Czech city of Ostrava, seven were Czechs, while a Polish woman and Ukrainian man were also among the dead. According to the Czech authorities, local hospitals treated 67 people, including the Ukrainian victim, two Frenchmen, two Slovaks and 13 Poles. Meanwhile, Czech Railways has restored a limited service along the track adjacent to the one on which the accident took place. Czech Railways have also announced that the closest relative of each of the victims will receive 240,000 crowns in compensation.
A 63-year-old man has died in the Czech village of Bílovice nad Svitavou after attempting to retrieve a football kicked into a river by his grandson. Fire-fighters and medical personel arrived on the scene shortly after the man fell into the water, but the man was declared dead at the scene. Later, they pointed out that the stretch of river in which the man died was neither particularly deep nor fast-flowing. The family of the man, including his 9 and 11-year old grandsons are receiving counselling from the authorities.
Legendary Czech ice-hockey player František Tikal has died just days after his 75 birthday following a long illness. Mr Tikal played during the 1950s and 60s and was regarded at the time as one of the best defenders in the game. He represented his country in seven world championships and two Olympic Games and also played for the Prague teams Sparta and Tankista Praha.
The Czech Foreign Ministry has expressed concern and called for an end to hostilities in the Georgian region of South Ossetia. In a press release, the Foreign Ministry stated that the Czech Republic fully supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia and expressed regret that Russia had in its view become a party to a conflict as a result of its military steps against Georgia. Around 50 Czechs are believed to be in the region, and the Foreign Ministry has also stated that it is prepared to send a plane to bring its nationals home.
Around 150 Czechs and Germans joined forces to demonstrate in opposition to the planned US radar base in the region of Brdy. The protest was part of a bike ride called "Bikes for Peace, Disarmament and a Civilian Europe" which began on August 2 in Ulm, Germany. The cyclists stated that they chose Rozmital, which is close to Brdy, as their finishing point in order to highlight their message of peace.
Two people have died following the crash of a light aircraft near the Czech town of Dolní Třebonín. According to witnesses, the plane, which started its journey early on Sunday near the Czech city of České Budějovice, ran into difficulties at around 9am. Both the pilot and the passenger were killed when the plane crashed into a field. Upon crashing, the plane burst into flames, with fire-fighters putting out the blaze some time later. The pilot is believed to be a 31-year-old Czech man, while the identity of the passenger has yet to be confirmed. The incident follows on the heels of a similar crash – in which there were no casualties - on 31 July.
Trap shooter David Kostelecký has followed on from the example set by air rifle champion Kateřina Emmons to win the Czech Republic a second gold medal at the Beijing Olympics. Mr Kostelecký hit all 25 targets in the final round on Sunday finishing with a final score of 146. The Czech shooter was the one competitor to turn in a perfect final round, despite facing heavy competition in the early rounds. The event took place amidst heavy downpours in Beijing. After the competition, an ecstatic Mr Kostelecký noted that he believed that the rain had brought him good fortune.
Numerous forested areas in the protected nature reserve at Žďárské Vrchy east of Prague will remain closed to the public throughout the summer, say the authorities in the area. The reasons for sealing off the areas from the public – around 800 hectares – are said to be a severe danger of falling trees uprooted and damaged after storms in the area in late June. At present, forestry experts are working in the area to clear fallen and damaged trees. The region is popular with Czech tourists, and the forest authorities have been complaining that some are ignoring warning signs to stay out of the prohibited areas.
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