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At least 13 dead in a fire in a Russian nightclub

At least 13 dead in a fire in a Russian nightclub

Nov 5 (Reuters) – At least 13 people were killed in a fire that broke out at a busy nightclub in the Russian city of Kostroma, officials said on Saturday.

Kostroma is a city of about 270,000 inhabitants, 300 km (190 mi) northeast of Moscow on the banks of the Volga River.

The fire broke out in the early hours of the morning at Polygon, a multi-purpose recreational area that is used as a cafe, night club and bar. Rescuers said 250 people were evacuated from the building.

State media quoted investigators as saying the fire started after a man fired a torch indoors, setting the ceiling on fire. Police have now detained a man in connection with the incident, the interior ministry said.

“After firing the torch, the decorative elements on the ceiling caught fire and the fire immediately began to spread. Very quickly, the room began to fill with acrid smoke, and the exits for evacuation were difficult to see. There was pushing and panic,” the TASS news agency reported is, referring to the source.

Most of those who died in the fire were found in the smoking room, utility rooms and near the toilet, TASS reported, citing emergency services.

“As a result of the fire, 13 people died, the number of dead and injured is being clarified”, according to the statement of the Investigative Committee.

The fire was extinguished at 7:29 a.m. (04:29 GMT), the regional governor said.

Footage shared by investigators shows firefighters spraying water on what appeared to be a smoldering, collapsed roof of the building. According to rescuers, the fire covered an area of ​​3,500 square meters.

The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said it had not recently conducted a fire safety inspection of the facilities because they were classified as small businesses.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been at least five more fires in restaurants, two of which resulted in fatalities.

In 2009, 156 people died after a fire broke out at the Lame Horse nightclub in the city of Perm, prompting calls for tougher fire safety laws in a country where deadly fires are a regular occurrence.

Reporting by Caleb Davis; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Christina Fincher

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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