Saturday, December 09, 2006

Moscow Arson Attack Kills 45 Women

In what looks increasingly like another attack by fascist groups in Moscow, 45 women have died in a fire at a drugs rehabilitation centre (RFE/RL):

December 9, 2006 — Arson is being investigated as the possible cause of a fire that killed at least 45 female patients and staff at a drug-abuse treatment hospital in the Russian capital, Moscow.

Ten people were also injured, some of them seriously, and more than 100 people were evacuated.

The alarm came in at 1:42 a.m.local time. Officials say fire crews arrived in less than 10 minutes — and took only 20 minutes to extinguish the fire.

But it was still too long, as relatives of the dead wept today outside rehabilitation clinic No. 17 in southern Moscow.

Yury Nenashev, the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry’s top fire official, told reporters on the scene that he’s already “90 percent” certain the blaze was deliberately started.

“Now we can already say for sure that the fire started in the canteen area. We know where the fire started. And we are 90 percent certain that it was arson,” Nenashev said.

And Sky News adds:

In recent years, Russia has seen several fatal fires at secure hospitals where drug addicts or mentally ill people are treated. They are often in old, neglected buildings where patients are held in secure conditions.

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