MOSCOW, April 3 (Itar-Tass) —— The death toll from a fire which broke out at a market of construction materials in the south of Moscow on Tuesday morning has risen to 15, the press service of the Moscow branch of the Ministry for Emergency Situations told Itar-Tass.
The victims are citizens of the CIS countries who worked at the market, the source said. Moscow police specified that they were citizens of Tajikistan who both worked and lived on the territory of the market. The Russian Federal Migration Service (FMS) said that the migrants who lived on the territory of the market most likely stayed in the Russian Federation illegally.
The fire broke out in a two-storied building which adjoined a warehouse at around 5.00 a.m. Tuesday. The building was turned into a kind of hostel for the migrants. The bodies of the victims were found when fragments of the burnt building were being removed after the fire.
Preliminary report said the fire might have been caused by a heater used to heat the building.
Following the incident Minister for Emergency Situations Sergei Shoigu suggested conducting joint patrols with FMS to inspect places where workers live under inadmissible conditions. "We should find out who settled the workers there. The place is not fit to live in; the fire victims are precisely the people who lived there,"Shoigu said.
"The people died. Arguments as to whether they were workers or "Ostarbeiters" are no excuse," Shoigu stressed. "If the people live there they should be ensured proper conditions," the minister said.