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MOSCOW, April 3 (Itar-Tass) — The fire at the Moscow International Business Centre (Moscow-City) has been extinguished, the fire fighting headquarters told Itar-Tass.
“Fire fighters have managed to put out the fire in the Federation Tower. They are watering the structures and the Mi-26 heavy helicopter continues its work,” the source said.
A total of four helicopters equipped with special helibuckets were engaged in the fire fighting efforts - three Ka-32s and one Mi-26.
The construction of Moscow IBC is taking place on the Presnenskaya Embankment of the Moscow River approximately 4 km west of Red Square, and just east of the Third Ring Road. The project occupies an area of 60 hectares, the territory chosen being the only area in central Moscow that can accommodate such a project. Before construction began, the area represented an old stone quarry where most of the buildings were old factories and industrial complexes that had been closed or abandoned. The total cost of the project is estimated at $12 billion.
The fire started at about 20:00 MSK, Monday. Construction materials and insulation at an area of ··50 square metres caught fire on the 66-67th floors. Fire fighters climbed there on foot. However, the fire spread rapidly, completely covering two floors, including the outer part, where outdoor advertising panels and scaffolding also caught fire.
The building itself has no fire protection system, and it is not commissioned. The causes of the fire are yet to be established. “According to preliminary data, violation of fire safety rules during construction work caused the fire, it is not ruled out that construction materials caught fire during hot works,” law enforcement bodies supposed.
The fire safety condition of the Federation Tower has repeatedly drawn close attention of specialists. According to the materials of the Russian State Fire Control Service (Gospozhnadzor), Moscow courts have repeatedly fined the owners of the complex and also suspended activities at the Federation Tower.
Due to numerous violations of fire safety rules, by a decision of the Presnensky Court of Moscow in December 2010, police officers sealed off the East and West Towers of the complex for 30 days.
Then, according to fire safety inspectorate, the list of violations included unmounted fire hydrants, due to which fire fighters had no possibility of the needed water supply, there were also problems with the installation of fire alarm systems and diesel generators in case of power failure during a fire. Also, supervisory agencies pointed to the fact that the facility had no circular driveways for fire engines and no helicopter pads.