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Fire at mental hospital: victims and ivestigation

April 26, 2013, 14:37 UTC+3
All 38 dead bodies found at hospital fire site
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Investigators check all the possible versions of the fire in the mental hospital in the town of Ramensky, the Moscow Region. Forty one people, including three personnel members, were in the hospital when the fire broke out. Only three, including a nurse, survived. The rest 38 people are dead. Relatives of the victims arrive at the site. They are under the care of psychologists.

The bodies of all the 38 people have been found at the mental hospital fire site in the Moscow Region, the head of the Russian Emergencies Ministry's department for control, Yuri Deshevykh, said.

The search work is completed. All the people were found in their beds, including nurses in the rest rooms.


The people practically had no chances to survive

The fire broke out in a room where a group of patients after quarantine was placed the day before, spokeswoman for the SK regional department Irina Gumennaya told Itar-Tass.

A law enforcement source told Itar-Tass that the people practically had no chances to survive. Most of the patients were sleeping after they took medicines before the night. “The fire started when they were asleep. Some of them tried to escape, but were poisoned by combustion products, and the building almost burnt down,” the source said.

The fire spread very fast. The nurse who attempted to put it out with a fire extinguisher could not do it.

According to the preliminary information, the fire broke out at a sofa in a rest room.

The nurse on the night at 01:00 went around in the hospital to see that everything was in order. The fire alarm signaled at about 02:00. There was thick smoke. She could lead one female patient out and shouted to the rest to go out, an Investigative Committee (SK) source said. Another patient himself got out of the burning building.

One of the patients who survived was also questioned. He explained that a drug addict was placed in their building the day before. The man felt very bad. He continuously smoked, despite the personnel's prohibition.

New patients were usually placed in the building, where the fire broke out.

The nearest station of firefighters is located 51 km away from the settlement. Such a long distance to a fire-fighting service does not conform to the fire safety regulations, under which, firefighters must arrive at a site in a rural area no later than in 20 minutes, the official explained.

Setting up stations of firefighters in residential areas is under the jurisdiction of local authorities. The regional authorities planned to open a post of firefighters 10 km away from the settlement in the summer of this year, he said.


The fire alarm system worked in hospital without problems

The fire alarm system in the mental hospital was in good working order, deputy head of the Russian Emergencies Ministry’s Central Regional Centre Alexander Basulin told Itar-Tass.

The alarm system in the building signaled that there was a fire. A nurse pressed the alarm button, sending the signal to the firefighting service.

The commercial organization that installed the fire alarm system in the hospital is found. Investigators will question managers of the organization.

The building was inspected last year. Some violations of the fire prevention regulations were detected during the inspection. However, the problems were removed in August.



The version of arson is not confirmed so far, a law-enforcement source told Itar-Tass.

The version is considered among the other theories, but there are no objective confirmations, the source said, noting that all the witnesses were questioned.

The investigators are considering all the possible versions of the fire, including carelessness, an electric equipment defect and others, the source said.

Investigators continue to work at the site.

Investigators question the chief physician, his deputies, the duty physician, who was in another building of the hospital at the moment, and the survivors – a nurse and two patients.

The Russian Investigative Committee’s Moscow regional department has opened a criminal case over the tragedy on charges of fire safety regulations violation that caused deaths.


Putin orders to thoroughly investigate fire at mental home

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the police, the emergencies ministry, the ministry of health and the acting governor of the Moscow region to conduct a thorough investigation of the fire in a mental hospital in the Moscow region that claimed numerous human lives, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday.

The president has been promptly informed about the accident, he noted.

The Moscow Region's Acting Governor Andrei Vorobyov has declared mourning on April 27 in connection with the tragedy in Ramensky.

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