Officials not ruling out arson as cause of deadly Russian hospital fire
Friday, September 13, 2013 - 00:58
Sept. 13 - A fire at a psychiatric hospital in Russia kills dozens, prompting a criminal inquiry into suspected negligence. Nathan Frandino reports.
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Officials in Russia are dousing the smoldering remains of a psychiatric hospital that burned down over night, killing 37 people.
The pre-dawn blaze happened in the provincial village of Luka in the Novgorod Province north of Moscow.
Officials say the cause remains under investigation.
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) NOVGOROD REGION CHIEF FIRE INSPECTOR BORIS BORZOV, SAYING:
"As for the cause of the fire, our investigators are working. The reason is still unknown, but judging by the fact that the whole building was on fire, arson is a possibility."
Officials were able to evacuate more than 20 patients.
Law enforcement agencies had recently sought to have the run-down wood, brick and concrete building condemned as unfit for use.
As workers put out the flames, federal investigators began a criminal inquiry into suspected lethal negligence.
This was the second deadly blaze at such a facility this year, raising more concerns about Russia's treatment of the mentally ill.
The first fire killed dozens at another psychiatric hospital in April.
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