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People injured in Volgograd cafe's explosion to be flown to Moscow hospitals

February 15, 2012, 12:17 UTC+3

Of the 20 persons hospitalized after the fire started, 11 suffered severe burns. The condition of these people causes serious concerns

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MOSCOW, February 15 (Itar-Tass) — An Emergency Situations Ministry plane landed in Volgograd to collect the people injured in a cafe's explosion and fly them to Moscow for treatment. The plane, equipped with special medical modules, brought a group of medics from the Tsentrospas emergency medicine centre and the Ministry of Public Health and Social Development.

"The medics will hold a consultation to decide on how many people need transportation to Moscow," an official at the Ministry's information department told Itar-Tass.

Of the 20 persons hospitalized after the fire started, 11 suffered severe burns. "The condition of these people causes serious concerns: they have 50-percent skin burns and inhalation injuries," the press service of the Volgograd region governor told Itar-Tass.

Criminal proceedings were opened over the fire in which 22 persons were hurt, representative of the regional department of the Investigative Committee Natalia Kunitskaya told Itar-Tass.

"The case was opened under two Criminal Code articles /"production, storage, transportation and provision of works and services not meeting the safety requirements, which resulted in grave harm to health," and "violation of fire safety rules"/.

According to Kunitskaya, four of the injured persons are in an emergency unit.

The call about a fire at the cafe Bellagio in Mira Street in Volgograd’s central district came in at 21:57, on Tuesday. Initially, it broke out in an area of 30 square meters, but quickly spread to 514 square meters. It was contained at 22:19, Moscow time, and fully extinguished at 00:01, Moscow time.

The fire broke out in an apartment house built in 1946. Local residents said it was one of the first three-storey houses built in the city after World War II. The fire was caused by an explosion of a 12-liter gas cylinder.

Taking part in the fire-fighting effort were 83 persons and 25 units of equipment.

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