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10 Volgograd's cafe fire victims to be brought to Moscow hospitals

February 15, 2012, 17:06 UTC+3

Ten people injured at a fire at a Volgograd cafe will be flown to Moscow hospitals

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MOSCOW, February 15 (Itar-Tass) — Ten people injured at a fire at a Volgograd cafe will be flown to Moscow hospitals, Andrei Alexeyev, head of the Vishnevsky Institute’s burn centre told reporters on Wednesday.

Alexeyev said so after joint consultations involving Volgograd medics and the examination of the patients.

"Twelve people are in serious and critical condition. Three patients with 60 to 70 percent skin burns will remain in Volgograd because it is not possible to airlift them to Moscow hospitals at present. Of those, ten patients to be flown within the next few days; one female patient is in condition of medium severity, but there is a danger that it may worsen," he said.

The medical authorities allowed one relative per victim to come on board of the plane to accompany them to Moscow. A majority will be accommodated at Vishnevsky Institute's burn centre. Some will be brought to the Sklifosovsky emergency medicine centre and 2nd Moscow Burn Centre.

A plane sent by the Emergency Situations Ministry is equipped with special medical modules, and a team of specialists will be on hand to provide assistance, if necessary.

Volgograd region governor Sergei Bozhenov said the injured persons would be paid compensations.

"We'll do everything possible and impossible for the victims. We'll fly them to Moscow burn centres for treatment. We'll also support our residents during their stay in Moscow hospitals," Bozhenov promised.

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

83 people and 25 units of equipment took part in the fire-fighting effort.

During the fire, 72 people were evacuated from the building, of which 30 were cafe visitors, 15 cafe personnel and 27 tenants. Acting Volgograd mayor Sergei Sokolov said inspectors logged 12 claims over violations of fire safety forms at the cafe in the past three years.

Criminal proceedings were opened over "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".

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