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 Post subject: Psychiatric Hospital Fire Kills 38
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: 26 Apr 2013 07:46 
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Thirty-eight people are feared dead after a fire tore through a psychiatric hospital on the outskirts of Moscow.

The blaze broke out in the hospital in the town of Ramenskoye, around 70 miles (120 km) east of Moscow, at around 2.20am local time.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, the entire one-storey building was engulfed in flames, reports said.

There were believed to have been 41 people in the building when the fire broke out - 36 patients, two doctors and three nurses. Only one nurse and two patients are thought to have escaped the building.

Twelve bodies have so far been recovered and the fire has been extinguished, authorities said.

"According to preliminary reports, 38 people were killed, including two medical staff," said health ministry spokesman Oleg Salagai.

There were bars on the windows of the building and some patients apparently died while trying frantically to make it to the main entrance to escape, but many others died in their beds, the Itar-Tass news agency reported.

State news agency RIA Novosti quoted police as saying the fire is believed to have been caused by an electrical short-circuit.

Emergency services said the patients ranged in age from 20 to 76.

Health Ministry officials said it took firefighters an hour to get to the hospital because a local ferry across the river was closed and they were forced to make a detour.

Moscow region governor Andrei Vorobyev told state television the fire alarm appeared to have worked, but the fire spread too quickly after igniting in a wooden annex.

Fires at state institutions in Russia such as hospitals, drug treatment centres and homes for the elderly have caused numerous casualties in recent years and raised questions about safety measures and conditions.

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