Hazardous Kosovo media building to be closed

PRISTINA, Aug 2, 2000 -- (Reuters) A building in Pristina housing many of Kosovo's newspapers and broadcasters is not safe enough to be used and must be closed, international officials said on Tuesday.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said the UN Fire Marshall's Office had concluded that the tower block was a "major safety hazard which could lead to loss of life or injury due to fire or electrocution."

UN engineers discovered that the electrical wiring system was in serious need of an overhaul after years of neglect.

"The OSCE deeply regrets this development," said a statement from the group, which aims to help media development. "The OSCE will do its utmost to help the media tenants of the tower block find alternative accommodation in Pristina."

Kosovo is under de facto international control following last year's NATO air strikes, which resulted in the withdrawal of Serb forces from the province.

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