At least 38 people, including two medical workers, have been killed in a fire that broke out at a psychiatric hospital in Russia, authorities say.
The deadly blaze erupted around 2:30 a.m. local time (2230 GMT) on Friday in Psychiatric Hospital 14 in Ramensky on the outskirts of the Russian capital, Moscow.
“According to preliminary reports, 38 people died, including two medical personnel,” Russia’s Health Ministry spokesman Oleg Salagay told RIA Novosti.
Salagay added that three people including a nurse who managed to lead two patients out of the building survived. The one-story building is said to house as many as 41 people.
“The building burned down almost completely,” a law enforcement source said.
Police cordoned off the area after the incident and launched an investigation into the cause of the fire. However, authorities say the fire started due to a short circuit.
Nearly 20 cases of deadly fires in medical facilities have been registered in Russia over the past seven years. On January 4, a fire killed three patients at Pokrovskaya Hospital in the city of Saint Petersburg.
Following the incident, the Saint Petersburg Emergency Ministry said two of the victims were patients at the hospital’s individual isolation wards. Police officials arrested a 43-year-old female patient at the hospital, saying they believed she dropped a smoldering cigarette on mattresses piled up in a utility room.
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