June 1, 2008 / 9:46 AM / 9 years ago

House fire kills eight in Russian Far East

MOSCOW, June 1 (Reuters) - Eight people were killed when fire swept through a wooden house in the city of Khabarovsk in Russia's Far East, RIA news agency reported on Sunday.

The fire gutted the single-storey building on Saturday, a police official told the agency. "The hostess, her daughter, son-in-law and five of their acquaintances died in the fire," he said. All were believed to have been drinking, he added.

Alcoholism, coupled with poisoning by low-quality and bootleg liquor, remains one of post-Soviet Russia's most serious problems. Thousands of people die in accidents or drunken brawls each year. (Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; editing by Andrew Dobbie)

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