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MOSCOW, April 4 (Itar-Tass) — Reports that victims of a fire in the “Kachalovo” market in Moscow were Uzbek nationals have not been confirmed as of yet, spokesman for the Uzbek Embassy to Russia Obid Karimov told Tass on Wednesday.
“At the present moment identification of the dead continues together with Russian law enforcement agencies,” Karimov said. “So far there is no information that the victims were Uzbek nationals,” he said. If this information is confirmed, the bodies will be airlifted to Uzbekistan, he noted.
Earlier, the press service of Moscow police said all victims of the deadly fire were citizens of Uzbekistan.
The fire broke out on an area of some 50 square meters in a two-storey structure adjoining a hangar in the “Kachalovo” market at 05:00, Moscow time, on Tuesday. The structure might have been used as a dormitory. Seventeen bodies were found during a debris clearing operation.
According to preliminary reports, the fire might have broken out because of thermal effect of a heater.
Criminal proceedings were opened over Article 219, Part 3 of Russia's Criminal Code /"violation of fire safety rules which resulted in the death of three or more persons"/.