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Death Toll In Kazakh Rehab Center Fire Rises

The drug treatment clinic in Taldy-Qorghan

The drug treatment clinic in Taldy-Qorghan

ALMATY -- The number of those killed by a fire at the drug rehabilitation center in the southeastern Kazakh city of Taldy-Qorghan has risen to 38, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Previously, 37 people were reported dead and 41 rescued by firefighters on September 13. One patient has since died in a Taldy-Qorghan clinic.

Almaty Oblast Deputy Governor Bolat Takenov told RFE/RL on September 14 that the patients in the center were unable to escape because they were locked in the building and all windows and doors were covered by metal bars, making it impossible for them to break out.

Also on September 14, Almaty Governor Serik Umbetov declared September 15 a day of mourning.

However, the oblast administration has since annulled that decision, calling it illegal. No detailed explanation was given.