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Fire In Russian Psychiatric Facility Kills 23


A fire at a psychiatric care home in Russia's Voronezh region killed 23 people, the region's Emergencies Ministry said December 13.

The fire, which may have been caused by an electrical malfunction, was extinguished after burning several hours.

The government has launched a probe into the cause.

At least 22 people were hospitalized, all of them reported to be in critical condition, many with carbonic monoxide poisoning, Igor Banin, the head physician of Voronezh’s regional clinic, said.

The home had around 140 patients in all. When the fire started, 74 patients were in the affected unit, including 30 invalids and four medical workers, the ministry said.

Firefighters evacuated 55, with 15 taken to the hospital with burns, it said.

The fire was the latest tragedy to hit a psychiatric institution in Russia, where outdated Soviet-era wooden buildings are still in widespread use.

A fire at a psychiatric hospital in northwest Russia in September 2013 left 37 people dead, while another blaze in April 2013 killed 38.

Based on reporting by TASS, Sputnik News, AFP, and RIA Novosti

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