March 25, 2007 / 6:38 AM / 11 years ago

Ten dead in Russian strip club fire

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A fire at a strip club in central Moscow killed at least 10 people on Sunday after a barman set himself alight while making flaming drinks, emergency service officials said.

Policemen guard the entrance of "911" club in Moscow, March 25, 2007. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

“Ten people were killed and four injured. The fire started at the bar,” an emergency service worker who asked for his name not to be given told Reuters outside the club.

Interfax news agency cited Yevgeny Bobylyov, a spokesman for the local emergencies ministry, as saying the fire started after a barman lost control while making flaming drinks.

“Every night there was a fire show with spirits,” Bobylyov said. “The barman’s clothes caught fire, setting light to a five-liter canister of spirits and then the stage.”

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Police sealed off the area around the “911” club, just a few kilometers (miles) from the Kremlin. No one answered calls to the club, which describes itself as “an erotic club.”

An investigation has been opened by local prosecutors. RIA news agency said a Bulgarian national died in the fire.

Nearly 200 people have died in a host of accidents in Russia over the past week, including a mine disaster in Siberia, a fire at an old people’s home and a helicopter crash in the far north.

Sixty-two people died on Tuesday when the fire broke out at an old people’s home in southern Russia. At least one emergency exit was locked. That incident prompted renewed concerns about fire safety standards in Russia.

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