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ASTANA, January 15 (Itar-Tass) —— One person died in a fire at the Astana Hazret Sultan grand mosque on Sunday, the Kazakh Emergency Situations Ministry reports.
“An unidentified male body was found on the fire scene,” the ministry said. It noted that firemen had rescued 13 people in the fire.
The fire is confined; its cause is unnamed so far. There is a theory that construction works, in particular, welding, might have sparked the blaze.
Judging by preliminary reports, the fire spread into 300 square meters, and more than 30 fire engines were summoned to put it out.
Hazret Sultan was presented to Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in December 2011, by the 20th anniversary of independent Kazakhstan. “This is the largest mosque in Central Asia. It is being built with popular donations, not with the government’s money,” the president said.
The mosque has a size of 17,700 square meters. It is located close to the Palace of Independence, the venue of the most significant political and business events in Kazakhstan.
Some 5,000 people will be able to pray at the mosque simultaneously when the construction is finished. The mosque’s four prayer towers are 77 meters high; its dome is the tallest in Kazakhstan: it is 28 meters wide and 52 meters tall.