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Arsonist destroys building to avenge eviction - Oxford student dies

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Photo: Peter Tomschi
11:37 CEST+02:00
A disgruntled squatter being evicted from a luxury apartment doused it in petrol and set it on fire. The resulting explosion killed a neighbour (23) and destroyed much of the building.

Tragedy struck on Wednesday night in Vienna's luxurious 1st district when a serial squatter set fire to his apartment.  Oxford student Alexandra R. (23) was killed when an adjoining wall collapsed on her as a result of an explosion.

A 44 year old man is suspected of lighting the fire as an act of revenge against the apartment owner for his forced eviction due to non-payment of rent.

Emergency services responded quickly to reports of a possible gas explosion in the Hohen Markt address with more than 100 firefighters at 4:30 a.m.  They saw metre high flames emerging from several windows on the third floor.

After the fire was extinguished, the body of the 23 year old student was found in an adjacent apartment buried under rubble from the collapse of a wall.

The suspect was found the next morning by Police, drunk and sleeping on the street with his dog. 

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