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Exhibition center fire caused by gas welding rules violation

August 30, 2011, 15:19 UTC+3

Two fire-fighting helicopters were dispatched to the scene to help the firefighters

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MOSCOW, August 30 (Itar-Tass) — Gas welding rules violations might have caused the fire at a pavilion at the All-Russia Exhibition Center in Moscow, spokesman for the Moscow department of the Emergency Situations Ministry Yevgeny Bobylyov told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

"It is premature to talk about the cause of the fire, but according to preliminary information, it might have started because of violations of the fire safety rules during gas welding works at the pavilion which is being renovated," Bobylyov said.

The area engulfed by fire still totals 1,000 square meters. Roof partially collapsed on an area of 400 square meters.

Two fire-fighting helicopters were dispatched to the scene to help the firefighters.

A law-enforcement source earlier said gas cylinder had been exploding at pavilion # 56 where the fire was raging.

The all-Russia Exhibition Center sprawling on an area of 237.5 hectares is located n northeastern Moscow. It was established in 1939, when it hosted the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition.

In 1950, it was closed for four years for renovation works.

In 1959, the exhibition center was renamed to the Exhibition of Economic Achievements (VDNKh), while its present-day name was given to it in 1992.

The All-Russia Exhibition Center accommodates various architectural monuments, some of them are famous all over the world.

The exhibition space of 71 pavilions on its premises totals 134,000 square meters.

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