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Ukrainian Court Arrests Director Of Youth Camp Where Fire Killed Three Girls

Firefighters extinguish battle a fire at the Viktoria children's camp in Odesa on September 16.
Firefighters extinguish battle a fire at the Viktoria children's camp in Odesa on September 16.

ODESA, Ukraine -- A court in Ukraine's Black Sea port city of Odesa has arrested the director of a youth camp, where fire killed three girls on September 15.

The Kyiv District Court in Odesa on September 18 placed Petros Sarkisyan in a detention center for two months without possibility of bail on suspicion of violations of fire safety regulations that led to the deaths.

Authorities said on September 16 that the fire swept through the camp's two-story, wooden building shortly before midnight on September 15.

Police said that 42 children were inside the building at the time of the fire.

After extinguishing the fire, rescue workers found the remains of two girls and said that a third girl was unaccounted for.

Fragments of a third body that are believed to belong to the missing girl were found later.

Ukrainian Prosecutor-General Yuriy Lutsenko, on September 18, expressed condolences to the relatives of the three girls and Odesa residents.

He also said that he has put the investigations of the tragedy under "special control."

On May 27, President Petro Poroshenko visited the Viktoria youth camp, and as media reports said then, "personally inspected and reopened" the camp after renovation works.

Ukraine and other former Soviet nations continue to be plagued by frequent deadly fires due to aging infrastructure and often slipshod fire-safety practices.

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