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MOSCOW, January 9 (Itar-Tass) – Nearly 450 people have died in fires in Russia during the New Year holidays – which is less than a year earlier, Director of the oversight department of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry (EMERCOM) Yuri Deshevykh said on Wednesday.
He said that since the beginning of the year, more than 4.2 thousand fires have occurred in which 448 people have died. “The number of fires has decreased by almost 18 percent, and the number of fatalities as a result of them – by almost 22 percent,” said Deshevykh at a conference at the EMERCOM.
According to him, most of the fires occurred in rural areas, in the private residential sector. “Most of those who died were in a state of intoxication,” Deshevykh said.
RF Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov said for his part that the work priorities for the EMERCOM oversight bodies for 2013 have been determined. “The main goal is the prevention and reduction of the risks of accidents and disasters. We implement modern approaches and several times reduce the number of audits of small and medium-sized businesses, introducing the safety audit and an independent assessment of the risks,” the minister said. Vladimir Puchkov said earlier that the fire-related losses during the New Year holidays this year have been minimal. “As for the first days of the New Year, we have the situation under control. Thanks to the measures taken and large preventive work, we have minimal losses,” Puchkov underlined at a telephone conference last week. He noted that no accidents had been reported during New Year children’s parties. “Also, there were no problems in public places; I ask the specialists responsible for it to continue their work,” Puchkov said.