Sunday, March 28, 2010


(Photo is of a previous Molotov cocktail attack on Romani)

Attack in Bedřiška was even more malicious than Vítkov, the bottle held ether

Ostrava, 27.3.2010, 10:10, (ROMEA)

The results of a police investigation have confirmed that the Molotov cocktail used during the attack on a Romani family’s home in the Bedřiška settlement of Ostrava contained diethylether, a highly flammable solvent used in laboratories. Soňa Štětínská, spokesperson for the Moravian-Silesian Police, informed the Czech Press Agency of the findings today.

A still-unidentified assailant threw the Molotov cocktail into the Romani family’s home on 14 March. The bottle did not break and its contents did not catch fire. Police say the burning wick was put out by the girl who was sleeping in the room where the bottle landed. "We had already ruled out gasoline or a gasoline mixture in the bottle. Specialists who analyzed the contents of the bottle have confirmed it contained diethylether," Štětínská said.

Diethylether (as well as ether or ethoxyethan) is a common laboratory solvent. Under normal conditions it is a clear, colorless, extremely flammable fluid with a low boiling point and a characteristically sweet odor. Diethyleter is not commonly available and cannot be purchased in ordinary stores.

The investigation shows that the attack in Bedřiška was even more malicious than the Vítkov arson. Had the arsonist succeeded in getting the bottle to break after it landed on the floor, experts say there would have been no chance of survival for the Romani occupants. “Even if it did not immediately burst into flame, the people in the room would have been immediately rendered unconscious,” news server quoted expert witness Kateřina Orlíková as saying. Orlíková went on to say that ether is one of the most dangerous combustibles and the fire would have resulted in total destruction.

“Ether is used, for example, in laboratories and in the pharmaceutical industry. It must be stored according to strict safety regulations,” Orlíková said, adding that whoever wanted to acquire the material must have had access to a laboratory where it would be stored. “They would have had to have known someone who could get them this material,” she said.

The arsonist or arsonists attacked the single-family home in the settlement during the early morning hours of Sunday 14 March. The Molotov cocktail containing a highly flammable liquid broke through the window of a room in which a teenage girl was sleeping. The bottle did not break and the chemicals inside it did not catch fire. Part of the rug caught fire from the wick. The girl, who was awoken by the broken glass, managed to put out the fire.

Police officers are investigating the attack as attempted murder. The attack was originally investigated as reckless endangerment. While general reckless endangerment carries a sentence of from three to eight years, attempted murder carries a sentence from between 15 to 20 years or even an extraordinary sentence.

Police are continuing to investigate several possible motives for the attack, which could have been related to the victims’ business dealings or interpersonal relationships. Racial motivation is still under consideration, as is the possibility the attack was random.

Last April arsonists attacked the home of a Romani family in Vítkov, injuring three people. The most seriously injured was little Natálka, who was not quite two years old at the time she suffered extensive second and third-degree burns over 80 % of her body.

The trial of the four right-wing extremists from the Bruntál and Opava districts charged with the Vítkov arson will begin at the Regional Court in Ostrava on 11 May. The men have been charged with committing racially motivated attempted murder against multiple victims, one of whom was a child. They face up to 15 years in prison but could also receive extraordinary sentencing, including life in prison.

ryz, ČTK,, translated by Gwendolyn Albert


Casimire said...

The Nazis already lost the war, when will they learn that?

Casimire said...

Ether? Oh good lord! That is really bad. Hope the wrong people don't learn from that article. Could have blown up in the persons face who was throwing it, as well! Just the thought of this whole thing is terrable!

Tim said...

Isn't ether legally-no-questions-asked-over-the-counter available in drugstores/pharmacies of the Czech Republic? Or is it a perscription only thing? I remember my mom using it when I was young, as a sort of recreational drug of sorts and am wondering where did she get her ether... If it is still available, maybe the government should consider making it harder to obtain. But is it? I find it nearly impossible to get any information about the legal status of diethyl ether in Czech Republic.

Casimire said...

Ether is a very common chemical that is available for a wide range of use. I used to work in a boiler room and we used it to fire oil furnace up. Used ether to start engines in cold weather also. It is more of an industrial thing today. Around the turn of the century it was used for surgery. If for recreational drug could be really really dangerous, might not wake up or cut air off to your body, including brain. Is a real horror if used for terrorism. Suck the air out of the room and very very cumbustable.